Funding for the Holly Project extended
Telford & Wrekin Council has confirmed it has extended funding for the Holly Project to support survivors of child sexual exploitation (CSE) until the end of this financial year and committed additional support for survivors and victims in excess of £200,000 for the next two years.
The Holly Project is run by CSE survivors from Telford and Wrekin in partnership with Wellington YMCA and aims to offer a safe place for people who have experienced the trauma and impact of CSE. Its aim is to work with survivors on a one to one basis and help them rebuild their lives in whatever way suits them best.
Earlier this year, the Council confirmed its wholehearted support of this new project and allocated funds to see it through its first six months. Discussions about the ongoing support and funding for the project have been taking place over the summer and last week the project was informed of the additional funding. The Council also confirmed that funding would be available to commission support services beyond March 2019.
Councillor Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member, said: “This is the funding that was committed by Cabinet in March this year. Throughout the summer, we have been working closely with survivors and victims of child sexual exploitation to ensure that their voices are heard about the services that they want. Their help is crucial in shaping the support that is available in the borough for victims and survivors of this vile crime.
“Keeping children and young people safe from harm is the most important thing that we do, but we can’t do this alone, which is why working in partnership is so important. I’m delighted that we have been able to confirm this additional funding that secures the future of the Holly Project and more investment in support services going forward.”
Mandie Mulloy, Chief Executive of YMCA Wellington, said: “We are delighted to have our initial funding for the Holly Project from a six month pilot extended until March 2019, and are delighted to hear that Telford & Wrekin Council has set monies aside to allow survivors and victims to get the support they need on a longer term basis. This is a much needed service in Telford and Wrekin and we hope that we are successful in securing the funding from the imminent tender to keep the Holly Project going.”
Councillor Shaun Davies, leader of Telford & Wrekin Council, added: “I pay tribute to the Holly Project and YMCA for their excellent work. This Administration has continued to invest in services which help and protect victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation in Telford and Wrekin. This extra investment in peer to peer support ensures that the borough has a package of support available. We will continue to lobby Government and other agencies to match our level of investment which is very much a working progress.”