PCC launches second round of Vulnerability Funding
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An innovative funding scheme to improve the lives and safety of vulnerable people and their families across Derbyshire has reopened for new applications after it was inundated with pleas for help.
The Vulnerability Fund, launched by Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa, has already seen almost £342k awarded to charities and community groups to protect vulnerable individuals and their dependents from crime, victimisation and exploitation.
The Commissioner was flooded with requests for grants in the first phase of the scheme – exposing the hardship and financial difficulties many projects are facing during the pandemic – and has set aside cash usually earmarked for his Community Action Grant to extend support for those who need it most.
In the second phase of this funding initiative approximately £275k is available for projects which support the PCC’s ambition to create safer, more engaged communities.
The funding will be invested in projects which tackle the wider social issues that contribute to crime and provide practical help rather than operational policing initiatives that directly cut crime.
Mr Dhindsa said: “My team was staggered by the volume of applications made in the first phase of the scheme, which was more than double the value of funding available. There are so many great and needy causes desperate for help across Derbyshire and it was heart-breaking to turn away so many.
“Helping vulnerable people to solve their problems is the best way of protecting their safety and reducing their exposure to crime in the long-term. I want to do so much more to help, which is why I’ve made the decision to dedicate my Community Action Grant funding to some of these fantastic causes.
“These projects are vital for building resilience in our communities but they too are feeling immense financial strain under the pressures of Covid. Many have been forced to close because they cannot provide their services virtually while others have struggled to secure funds.
“At the same time, the health crisis has forced vulnerable people to endure long periods of social isolation, exposing them to a greater threat of exploitation or abuse. Without these community services, many people would continue to suffer alone and unnoticed, which is why it is imperative we protect them.”
After launching the first phase of funding in October the Commissioner received a total of 52 applications valued at more than £820k. Following a difficult selection process, 23 were selected to receive grants.
The fund is aimed at addressing a range of community challenges, but all applications must relate to policing, crime or disorder. They can include the victimisation and harassment of people unable to go out due to age, frailty, poor health, mobility issues or health conditions, people at risk of becoming a victim or perpetrator of crime due to family or life circumstances or due to learning difficulties, physical disabilities, mental health conditions and people with a history of or vulnerability to substance misuse.