Anchor Project Grants now available in Birmingham and the West Midlands
6th February 2018
NATIONAL CHILDREN’S CHARITY BUTTLE UK TO PROVIDE LIFELINE FOR BIRMINGHAM AND WEST MIDLANDS CHILDREN CAUGHT UP IN FAMILY DOMESTIC ABUSE
A third of grant requests received in the West Midlands last year were for domestic abuse related cases – the highest for any region in the country.
Following the successful launch of their pioneering Anchor Project in London – a programme providing emergency essentials and support for children who are caught up in family domestic abuse situations – the programme is now being rolled out in Birmingham and the West Midlands by Buttle UK, a grant giving charity.
Birmingham and the West Midlands were chosen as the second location for the rollout of the programme due to the staggeringly high level of domestic abuse cases involving children that were referred to the Buttle UK from the region in the last 12 months.
This figure has been rising for some time. In 2011-12 the percentage of grants involving domestic abuse as either a main, or contributing factor in the West Midlands was 19% and for the UK as a whole was also 19%. However, the Charity’s analysis of grant referrals received in 2016-17 shows that UK-wide, 28% of the grant applications they received now involved domestic abuse, making it the most common reason for applications across the entire UK. In that same time, the figure for the West Midlands had risen to 34% - the highest level in the UK and 6% above the national average.
The Charity plans to work with around 100 referral agencies to hand out over £400,000 during the next three years, to support children and families who are suffering in the region. The grants are designed to support children who have unmet emotional, social or educational needs because of domestic abuse they have been exposed to.
The grants can help reduce the impact domestic abuse can have on a child by funding items, activities or services to help them move forward with their lives and establish a new home. This can mean giving a grant for everyday essential items like cookers or children’s beds, when a family has been rehoused and also meeting the children’s most pressing emotional and educational needs, by funding a wide range of costs from counselling and therapy to after-school activities or extra tuition, if they have missed out on school as a result of their ordeal.
Families who are suffering domestic abuse and who have children can apply for these refuge grants through a local support agency, such as a refuge or Women’s Aid organisation. Individual grants are being awarded up to a maximum of £2000 per family.
Domestic abuse is one of the most pernicious and pervasive forces in the UK today. On average, two women each week in the UK are killed by a current or former partner.
Refuge estimates that each year in the UK, 750,000 children witness domestic abuse and the majority of those living in refuges are children.