'Strong Black Girls' project in Ipswich awarded £2,000

PHOEBE offers specialist advice, information, casework, advocacy support and counselling services to black and ethnic...

PHOEBE offers specialist advice, information, casework, advocacy support and counselling services to black and ethnic minority women and children (Mollin Delve, centre right in orange jacket) - Credit: PHOEBE

An Ipswich charity for ethnic minority women is to use a £2,000 grant for its Strong Black Girls project, to help young people understand their historical links with Britain.

PHOEBE, which stands for Promotion of Health, Opportunity, Equality, Benevolence and Empowerment, helps BME women and children experiencing domestic abuse. It also offers information, casework, advocacy support and counselling services.

The charity has now been given a £2,000 grant by the KFC Foundation to support its work empowering young people in the area.

Mollin Delve, director at PHOEBE,  was delighted to hear the news and said of the Strong Black Girls project: "The idea is to give these girls more of an identity.

"We want them to know who they are, where their parents came from and how they came to the UK, what their historical link with Britain is and really who they are as a people.

"We have been dealing with self-esteem issues in young women since we started in 2008 and these issues are rising with social media images, the way society perceives these young black girls who are experiencing racism and discrimination even now.

"We are pushing for peer-to-peer support so they can support each other too. We have self-esteem sessions so they can have body confidence."

PHOEBE stands for Promotion of Health, Opportunity, Equality, Benevolence and Empowerment

PHOEBE offers specialist advice and support for black and ethnic minority women and children - Credit: PHOEBE

In August, Suffolk police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore chose the charity to receive more than £35,000 of Ministry of Justice funding to support its specialist work.

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Lockdown has moved all of this online and the charity has seen anxiety levels rising within the BME community in Ipswich.

Mollin says some BME women are fearful of getting the Covid-19 vaccine because they don't know if it is safe, due to myths circling in the communities.

Some are also unsure how to access the vaccine if they are in the country on a visa.

She also said some of these women fear going to hospital if they catch coronavirus, because of their visa status.

The charity can be contacted via email at admin@phoebecentre.org.uk

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