Stand Against Racism & Inequality (SARI), the regional charity for tackling hate crime, are very pleased to announce they have secured a new 5 year grant from Big Lottery. The project, ‘Every Victim Matters’, will support victims of hate crime throughout the counties of Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and Somerset. Project partners include The Diversity Trust, Taunton CAB, Compass Disability and Brandon Trust.

This service is for victims of any type of hate crime, whether age-based, disablist, faith-based, gender-based, homophobic, racist or transphobic. Trained caseworkers are able to offer both practical and emotional support; victims will receive specialist advice, and support will be tailored to the needs and experiences of each individual. The service aims to improve the safety, quality of life and confidence of victims. A portion of the grant will be used to provide training to over 750 professionals, with a view to increasing knowledge and awareness of hate crime among statutory bodies, community groups and agencies. The grant will also be used to fund group sessions to build confidence and strength in those at risk of or affected by incidents.

Stand Against Racism & Inequality opened 123 cases across Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and Somerset last year, supporting 297 victims of hate crime. This project aims to provide additional, consistent resources and services to victims in these predominantly rural areas.

Esther Deans MBE, Chair of SARI said: “we are delighted that Big Lottery have once again supported SARI so we are enabled to tackle hate crime in more areas and more communities who previously did not have the same level of services we have been able to give to Bristol. We know that many people in areas such as Somerset for example, from black and minority ethnic, LGB & T and disabled communities can be very isolated when they face abuse due to their identities. We can really make a difference to their safety and wellbeing. Many thanks to the Big Lottery for helping us to continue to reach out to those that need our services.”

Berkeley Wilde, Diversity Trust, commented “we are looking forward to working together with SARI on increasing awareness with local communities of the need to report and get support for hate crime. We really welcome this opportunity to play a role in helping to develop this important programme over the coming years. No one should suffer in silence and every victim has the right to get support.”

Liz Fothergill, Chief Officer at Citizens Advice Taunton, said “the award from Big Lottery for the Every Victim Matters project will have a real positive impact on Somerset as we will benefit from a dedicated case worker who will be addressing hate crime and racism at a local level. The added value of offering restorative justice and a coordinated approach in partnership to incidents will benefit both the victims and perpetrators. The delivery of educational sessions, in collaboration, to other agencies and schools will raise the awareness around many hidden issues promoting cohesion and improved communities, particularly in some of Somerset’s more deprived areas where support is currently very thin on the ground. Citizens Advice Taunton is pleased to be a partner in ‘Every Victim Matters’ and we look forward to working with SARI throughout the projects lifetime and playing our part in keeping victims safer and more included.”

Rachel Bye, Business Development Manager, Compass Disability added: ‘Compass Disability Services is delighted to be part of SARI’s new project ‘Every Victim Matters’. It’s a project we believe is really needed here in Somerset and we are looking forward to working with SARI to raise awareness of hate crime and make sure that disabled people have the confidence to report it!’

Contact: Alex Raikes MBE
Telephone: 0117 942 0060 / 07501 722 891
Email click here

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