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 The National Lottery Community Fund to continue with and develop their Every Victim Matters service for tackling hate crime throughout the counties of Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and Somerset.
The grant will be used to employ 2 new Outreach Workers who will recruit and train up a new allies’ network of local residents and agency workers from a range of areas and settings to assist with preventative work for combating hate crime and looking out for people in need across the region. The Outreach Workers will also build new relationships with community agencies and deliver training, education and empowerment sessions reaching over 2,500 professionals and local community representatives.
The grant will allow SARI to continue to offer their free, specialist casework service for victims of all types of hate including age-based, disablist, faith-based, gender-based, homophobic, racist or transphobic. 2 trained caseworkers will offer victims 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.
In addition, the grant will fund specialist partners – the Diversity Trust and Swan Advocacy who will help with training, information and empowerment sessions as well as ensuring SARI increase their reach to LGBTQ+ and disabled people who face hate crime. The local authorities and police in each area will also be working jointly with SARI on this project.
Stand Against Racism & Inequality dealt with 136 referrals across B&NES, North Somerset and Somerset last year, supporting 238 victims of hate crime despite the impact of Covid – this included working with a family whose loved one was lost to a racist murder in Weston Super Mare https://thebristolcable.org/2021/02/the-senseless-racist-murder-over-a-stolen-bike/.
This project aims to provide additional and consistent resources and services to these predominantly rural areas and to ensure we can reach more people in need as soon as possible after an incident occurs. It will also enable SARI to do a lot more to prevent such hostility by harnessing the support of local people who want to get involved in SARI’s cause to minimise hate and inequality.
Irvin Campbell, Chair of SARI said: ‘We are delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund have once again supported SARI so we are enabled to reach more organisations, community groups and residents to tackle Hate Crime. We are excited about building allyship amongst concerned and caring, local citizens. We know that people from equalities communities in areas such as Somerset for example those from Black and Minority Ethnic, LGBTQ+ communities and Disabled People can be very isolated when they face abuse due to their identities particularly in rural, less populated areas. We can really make a difference to their safety and wellbeing.
Berkeley Wilde, Executive Director of the 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.”
Vikki Holloway of Swan Advocacy, said “SWAN is delighted to partner with SARI in such an important piece of work. This is exactly how organisations should work together for the benefit of the local community and to ensure important messages are embedded, particularly at this critical time for society.”
Superintendent Dickon Turner, stated “SARI are important and valued partners of Avon and Somerset Constabulary so we are really happy that they will be able to extend their service to communities across BANES, Somerset and North Somerset. Hate crime of any sort is a threat to the cohesion of our communities, so it is great that SARI will be able to help even more victims, and further raise awareness of intolerance, hatred and the effect it can have on people.
Councillor Dine Romero, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People, Communities and Culture, stated: “We are very pleased to hear of SARI’s success in being awarded funding by The National Lottery Community Fund. SARI provides excellent support to those who experience hate crime. Also, in an area like B&NES, it’s important that this service will be reaching out to people in rural parts of our district”.
“North Somerset Council condemns all forms of hate crime and is committed to working together with SARI and other partners to combat hate wherever it occurs,” said Cllr Mike Solomon, the council’s executive member responsible for community safety. “This grant will enable SARI to build on the excellent work they are doing in our local communities. If you are the victim of any sort of hate crime organisations like SARI are there to help and support you. There is no need for anyone to suffer in silence.”
“Cllr Clare Paul, Cabinet Member for Education and Public Health at Somerset County Council said: “Somerset County Council is delighted that SARI can continue and extend their level of provision in Somerset in supporting victims of hate crime once again. We look forward to working and supporting SARI in achieving the best outcomes for our most disadvantaged communities who are also often isolated and feel unable to report hate crime.”