Suffolk: Help groups receive welcome funding

Groups who help vulnerable victims of crime in Suffolk have been awarded thousands of pounds of Government cash to enhance their work.

Lighthouse Women’s Aid has received �370,000 to provide an Independent Domestic Violence Advisors Service in courts across Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds and the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality (ISCRE) received �386,400 to support victims of hate crime.

The new funding means ISCRE will be able to develop a buddy scheme in which training will be provided for people who will volunteer their time to listen to and support people who have been victims of racial or hate crimes.

Jane Basham, chief executive of ISCRE, said: “I am convinced that this incredibly welcome funding from the Ministry of Justice will be a lifesaver here in Suffolk.

“By developing the trained Buddy system, more victims of racist, homophobic and other hate crimes will get the support, solidarity and sense of safety needed to help them rebuild their lives as valued and equal citizens.

“Hate crimes ruin people’s lives and without this network of specialist voluntary helpers, some victims may never recover.”

Jacqui Worbey, community services manager at Lighthouse Women’s Aid, was also pleased with the result.

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She said the group would now be able to have a full-time worker to help victims of domestic violence. “There is already a lot of good work being done but this funding will enhance that,” she said. “It’s really good news – it means we can extend the services we offer even more.”

The funding is part of a �30million Government scheme to support organisations who support victims at their most vulnerable.

Following the announcement of the new cash assistance, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said he hoped the funding would help towards protecting society and improving support for victims of a variety of crimes.

Have you been helped by either of the organisations? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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