In February 2021 Comic Relief, in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), launched the Supporting & Sustaining Specialism Fund. The fund invested in projects to end Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) led by and for Black and minoritised women, who can experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and disadvantage.
Through the Supporting & Sustaining Specialism Fund we aim to:
Improve access to quality services and support for Black and minoritised women and girls who are experiencing, or at risk of, violence and abuse.
Improve understanding of needs of and effective responses to violence and abuse against Black andminoritised women and girls.
Share learnings with other organisations and stakeholders across the sector.
Samir Patel, CEO of Comic Relief, said: “Throughout the pandemic violence and domestic abuse has risen at an alarming rate. Our £1.1million funding is helping 10 excellent projects that have seen huge increases in demand for their services from communities across the country. With the generous support of the Tampon Tax Fund, these specialist projects that are led by and for Black and minority women, will be able provide vital support for hundreds of women and girls across England.”
Charities awarded funding under the Supporting & Sustaining Specialism 2021 programme are:
Southall Black Sisters(opens in new window) Migrant Women Unbound: Resilience Inclusion Supported Equal Access to Safety: using co-production /collaborative approaches the project delivers bespoke holistic support to No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) VAWG survivors that best addresses their multiple /intersecting needs and re-engineers /co-opt models operational regionally/ locally with the aim of increasing access to and levels of support provision through sharing/ optimising existing resources/learning.
Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development(opens in new window) Tackling multiple forms of violence among African Communities in the UK: to tackle trauma, vulnerability and abuse of African women and girls by providing early prevention, culturally appropriate community support services and shape professional responses. This will enhance well-being, empowerment and rights of 500 women and girls, build partnerships, leadership development of community champions and youth advocates.
Saheli(opens in new window) Champa Champions – Co-creating: Hope, Advocacy, Meaning, Power and Ambition: provides user led, specialist aid for cultural, immigration and intersectional needs; through support and advocacy empowering Black/ minoritised women and girls facing violence and abuse; builds resilience, challenges discrimination and the systemic racism that creates additional trauma when leaving abusive situation and ensures access to safety, support and justice.
Anah Project(opens in new window) Removing barriers - Building resilience: provides safe refuge accommodation for women fleeing domestic abuse and violence, forced marriage, so-called honour-based violence and Female Genital Mutilation. The project provides one-to-one support, education and training in-house, supports women to increase their personal and financial autonomy, build resilience and regain control.
Latin America Women’s Aid(opens in new window) Access to VAWG support for Latin American and other Black, Minority Ethnic (BME) women who have no recourse to public funding. The project aims to improve access to specialist services to Latin American & other BME women survivors of gender-based violence whose cases are assessed as more complex due to their immigration status, especially to those who are classified as NRPF. The approach is holistical and includes emotional support.
Apna Ghar(opens in new window) Women Together Partnership: Black-led Peer Support Networks in the North East: Women Together Partnership: a collective of the region's grassroots Black-led women’s organisations, supporting each other to create sustainability outcomes, vital to the communities in the region, and to engage in key work that promotes and retains the specialism of their sector serving minoritised women* affected by VAWG issues (*inclusive).
Imece Women’s Centre(opens in new window) Pathway to Recovery Project: will work with Black, Minority Ethnic, Refugee (BMER) women survivors of VAWG aged 16+. It will enable survivors to receive immediate crisis intervention in order to reach safety and therapeutic services for recovery. It will provide this support via 1-1 advocacy work, 1-1 counselling and confidence building groups.
Africa Advocacy Foundation(opens in new window) Hidden Voices: will provide culturally, language and faith appropriate support services to empower and improve the safety, health and wellbeing of 80 black African migrant women and girls in London who are undocumented, on spousal visas and/ or have NRPF and are at risk or experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
PHOEBE(opens in new window) BME Domestic Violence Support: will support women coming from BME and migrant backgrounds to leave abusive, violent relationships, by assisting them in accessing services, housing, hardship funds, and applying for visas in their own name. PHOEBE also runs counselling sessions, offers legal advice, information, classes, workshops and welfare support.
London Black Women’s Project(opens in new window) Therapeutic Counselling Service for BME Service Users: to improve access to high quality counselling for Black and minoritised (BM) women, who are experiencing mental health and emotional issues as a result of domestic and other forms of gendered violence, due to an increase in demand for counselling during 2020/1. To improve the understanding of BM needs in the counselling sector through providing training.