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PCC welcomes over £2m of extra funding for victims

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Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, has secured an investment of £2.8 million from the Ministry of Justice to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

This additional funding over the next two years will be used by 17 organisations to increase local specialist victim support services with a particular focus on communities that are currently under-represented.

Members of the BAME and LGBTQ+ communities, along with older residents, those with multiple and complex needs and men and children will be provided with even more access to specialist support if they have experienced sexual violence or domestic abuse.

The range of support available includes: pro bono legal advice service for domestic abuse victims; one to one parent support; a sex workers outreach project; counselling and; multiple Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) and Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) who will offer confidential, victim-focused advice and support.

PCC Bourne said:

“This extra funding is welcome news for all. The diversity of our communities is what makes Sussex such a fantastic place to live and work and I have been committed to ensuring that the needs of all are represented in the support services we fund.

“We know that victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence often experience legacy trauma that affects all aspects of their lives and even their wider families.

“This funding will allow us to expand on the amazing support services already available in Sussex, helping to ensure that help is available to those who need it.”

Local charity, Switchboard, in Brighton and Hove and East Sussex has received £134,340 for two IDVAs to support members of the LGBTQ+ communities who have suffered domestic violence.

Jacob Bayliss, CEO, is delighted at the prospect of being able to support even more people with this funding:

“Switchboard have been supporting LGBTQ people since 1975, and we are extremely proud to be offering a domestic abuse service that is designed and delivered by and for our diverse communities. More than a quarter of gay, lesbian and bisexual people report domestic abuse and this is estimated to be even higher for trans and non-binary people, who are one of the most hidden groups of domestic abuse survivors. This funding ensures that we can be there for LGBTQ people who need us, and that LGBTQ people’s needs are met across all local domestic abuse services.”

Hersana is a local community interest company that has been awarded £230,904 from the funding pot for two IDVA’s to support those within the BAME community, with a focus on harmful practices that affect Black and Asian women.

CEO, Christabel Yeboah welcomes this funding boost, saying:

“We know how Black women’s experiences of gender-based violence differ from the experiences of other groups. There is still a significant gap in the country’s understanding of how women and girls from specific communities disclose gender-based violence. This funding will enable us to create culturally specific, intersectional and trauma-informed safe spaces for Black women and girls in Sussex. We believe that safe spaces like our own can provide a sanctuary, a sacred space where we, Black women, can be ourselves, as we are. We can be confident in reporting our experiences, accessing holistic support services and being believed, empowered and supported on our journey to recovery.”

The full list of local support services that will benefit from this funding can be found here.

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Watch amazing time lapse as new Town Hall comes to life in Crawley

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A time lapse video of the new Town Hall has been released by Crawley Borough Council, condensing 10 months of construction into just 100 seconds.

The video, which can be viewed here, shows the empty site transformed into a striking nine-storey building. Crawley Borough Council will occupy the bottom 3.5 floors and rent out commercial space on the upper floors.

The name of the commercial space will be The Create Building. The available floor space is between 14,000 sq ft and 77,000 sq ft and Crawley-based SHW are marketing this on behalf of the council. For more information visit shw.co.uk/crawley

The landmark building, which is expected to be ready for occupation in February 2022, is part of a wider regeneration scheme at the eastern end of The Boulevard in Crawley town centre.

The scheme also includes 273 flats (of which 109 will be affordable), a new public square, public realm improvements, ground floor commercial space for a restaurant/café and district energy centre. It is a joint development between Crawley Borough Council and Westrock.

The entire redevelopment is transforming a major town centre opportunity site. The new Town Hall will:

  • Secure the council’s finances through the ability to generate new revenue from commercial office tenants whilst achieving significant savings on the council’s current running costs
  • Provide a better, fit-for-purpose building for customers, staff and councillors
  • Contribute to achieving the council’s wider ambitions around affordable housing, post-Covid economic recovery, and tackling climate change.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said: “We are facing enormous challenges as a town: financial, as we are forced to keep doing more with less; social, as we struggle with a housing crisis decades in the making; and environmental, as we need to move quickly to zero-carbon to avoid climate catastrophe. The redevelopment of the Town Hall site is a vital part of Crawley’s efforts to meet all three challenges.” For more information visit investcrawley.co.uk/town-hall

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