FACES Bedford has said it is delighted to be among the organisations that will receive funding from Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to support victims of domestic abuse, exploitation and sexual assault.
Over 100 organisations in the county applied for part of the £1.3m funding, an increase from the £1.14 million allocated 2021/22.
Each of the three Women’s Centres in Bedford applied for funding, but none of their applications was successful.
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has said applications for funding were assessed by an independent panel following independent oversight of the sifting and marking of applications that were submitted.
“As per my Police and Crime Plan, where supporting victims of crime is one of the priorities, I have set out to ensure that local people have a comprehensive set of services that can support them at what could be the most traumatic and devastating time in their lives,” said PCC Festus Akinbusoye.
“Domestic abuse wreaks pain and suffering on individuals and families. Sometimes people are abused for years before they come forward to make a report to the police or contact an organisation that can support them.”
Michaela Martindale, Operational Lead, Family and Children’s Early-help Services (FACES) said: “We are delighted to be included in new PCC funding and see it as an excellent opportunity to bring real value to our new project.
“The project will benefit families, by working with fathers, who have displayed neglectful fathering behaviours, to increase their awareness of, and responsibility for, the impact of their behaviours on their children”.
Justin Sarginson, Area Manager Victim Support said “The funding has enabled us to recruit additional Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs), that provide specialist support to victims and survivors across the county.
“The continued funding will allow us to keep up the work that we are doing and to help provide specialist support to even more victims of domestic abuse.”
PCC Akinbusyoe said he understood the disappointment of organisations whose bids hadn’t been successful and that his office was reaching out to offer feedback.
“I want to thank all those organisations that applied for funding. It is important that as a custodian of the public purse that the process of considering the applications is robust, transparent and is focussed on outcomes.”
“Introducing independent oversight into the initial sift ensures that we are checking our decision making throughout the process.
“This year it means that I can support victims of domestic abuse, exploitation and sexual violence with the largest amount of funding provided via the OPCC and we can support more women, men and children in the county. Being able to award more funding this year will help more people to receive more support and to navigate to a safer future.”