Community groups who work with ethnically diverse communities in Cleveland have shared in a £30,000 funding boost to help enhance awareness, knowledge and support for domestic abuse.
The ‘Bridging the Gap’ fund has been awarded to six local groups who work with and support Cleveland’s ethnically diverse communities.
The fund aims to bridge the gap between these groups and Cleveland’s already well-established domestic abuse support services.
PCC Steve Turner sought the assistance of voluntary organisation Catalyst Stockton to run the funding opportunity on his behalf.
The fund was developed after consultation with diverse communities. Research found that many community members felt they needed additional support to access mainstream services.
Awards, worth a total of £30,000, were made from the Bridging the Gap fund, and grants have been awarded to the following organisations:
- Stockton African Caribbean Association – SACA (awarded £5,000)
- Women Today North East (£4,042)
- Ubuntu (£4,000)
- Afghan Women (£4,750)
- Creative Minds/Purple Rose (£8,000)
- Victory Christian Ministries International – VCMI (£4,208)
Online is the way to go
Middlesbrough-based Women Today North East is one of the groups which has received a share of the funding.
Founder Locardia Chidanyika wants to reach out to black ethnic women, mainly of African origin, via online and social media.
For women whose lives have been touched by domestic violence, there will be online counselling sessions. For the most affected, there will be one-to-one counselling.
Locardia said: “I feel online support goes way further than face-to-face. It’s free and our ladies can use it to tell a friend, who can then tell someone else.”
SACA and VCMI are the only organisations funded who will use money to run services for men. Both will provide guidance and training on acceptable behaviour within families and on the impact of domestic abuse.
Middlesbrough-based multi-cultural centre Ubuntu will use its grant to hire a private space, where women can talk openly in safety and confidence.
Afghan Women plans to provide training to show what is defined as domestic abuse in the UK. It also wants to show where victims can get help. Sessions will be delivered in Pashto – the national language of Afghanistan – to increase accessibility.
Breaking down the Barriers
Creative Mind/Purple Rose will run the Let’s Talk Project in Newport, Middlesbrough and Newtown, Stockton. Sessions aim to develop knowledge and understanding around domestic violence and abuse as well as the services available locally.
Let’s Talk also plans to show local agencies how they can break down some of the barriers facing minority groups wanting to access specialist services.
Creative and Diverse
Cleveland PCC Steve Turner said: “From our discussions with ethnically diverse communities, we understand that many of them face additional barriers to seeking help for domestic abuse.
“All of the organisations who bid for funding have demonstrated creative and diverse ways of raising awareness and breaking down barriers.
“We want to make sure those services are as inclusive and accessible to everyone as possible.”
Catalyst is the voluntary sector organisation which is coordinating these activities.
Jon Carling, Catalyst’s Chief Executive said: “This is a new approach to addressing domestic abuse suffered by diverse communities in Tees Valley.
“We are hopeful that it will make a significant positive impact and look forward to learning any lessons for future delivery of domestic abuse services”.