Published on 23rd April 2020

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner has awarded a grant to a local charity to help modern slavery victims self-isolating during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Medaille Trust were successful in their application to PCC David Keane’s Safer Communities Express Grants fund which is using money taken from criminals to support community organisations to respond to the pandemic.

The charity, which runs a safe house in Widnes, was awarded £800 to purchase laptops to help residents living in the house to carry on their education and support sessions virtually.

The funding will also be used to purchase an exercise bike to allow residents to take part in physical activity to boost self-esteem and reduce stress, depression and anxiety.

PCC David Keane said: “Victims of modern slavery are often dangerously marginalised and isolated, and the current situation can only be causing high levels of anxiety.

“If the residents in the house are not able to carry on with their support, this could result in a situation which could open them up to being re-trafficked or slipping back into addictive behaviour.

“This funding from my Safer Communities Fund will hopefully help residents in the safe house carry on their recovery.”

Leanne Hubbard, director of fundraising and engagement at the Medaille Trust, added: “Lack of confidence, emotional withdrawal and practical challenges, such as poor English language skills and transport problems, often stand in the way of individuals being able to effectively access resources and therefore find positive activities during this challenging time.

“We would like to provide a heightened programme of activities to maintain the social and emotional wellbeing of the men in our service to ensure that they remain actively engaged and are not open to being re-trafficked or contributing towards anti-social behaviour in the area.”

As part of his response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Commissioner is awarding a £1,000 express grant each day to different organisations across the county. To find out more about how you can apply for the funding please visit: https://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/what-i-do/making-cheshire-safer/safer-communities-fund/