A support service for black and ethnic minority women experiencing domestic abuse has secured extra funding to cover additional costs resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

PHOEBE, which stands for the Promotion of Health, Opportunity, Equality, Benevolence and Empowerment, received more than £35,000 of Ministry of Justice (MoJ) funding from Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) to support specialist work with black and ethnic minority women and children experiencing domestic abuse in the county.

The funding will cover additional technology costs and lost income due to the Ipswich based charity’s inability to fundraise at this time.

PCC Tim Passmore met PHOEBE trustees to hear how the extra funding would allow them to enhance and resource their work in key areas of service delivery, remote support practices and advocacy with mainstream agencies.

Mr Passmore said: “I am hugely impressed to see services like PHOEBE finding new ways to offer their services to victims of domestic abuse during this unprecedented time.

“This extra funding will make such a difference to the victims of these terrible crimes and help them overcome their traumatic experiences.

“Providing support for victims is a key part of my role. Each year, we allocate significant amounts of money to support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, and I know many of the organisations that provide this support are having to find new ways of interacting with victims during this pandemic, which can be more costly than normal.

“I am really delighted the MoJ has recognised the vital work done by the voluntary and charitable sector in Suffolk and the increased pressure these organisations face because of Covid-19.”

Mollin Delve, director of the charity, based in Tower Street, said: “Although violence against women and girls existed before Covid-19, rates and severity of violence have increased, and it will require sustainable long-term resourcing for the specialist black and minoritised women’s sector to address the immediate and long-term consequences.

“PHOEBE has struggled financially over the years and depended upon volunteers to implement our work. We are thankful for this enormous help.”