Peace Foundation calls on the Government to immediately reinstate funding to support victims of terrorism
The Peace Foundation charity, inaugurated in 1995, has told Government that unless it reinstates funding, the specialist service to support victims of terrorism that has been in place in Great Britain for two decades will be withdrawn from the end of September 2020 putting jobs and beneficiaries at risk.
The charity set up after the Warrington bombing was founded at a pivotal moment in the peace process on our islands and Tim’s name, alongside Johnathan’s, has become synonymous with the continuing support provided for victims of terrorism and in trying to prevent serious violence.
For the past 20 years, HM Government has supported the service but in March 2020, they stopped funding with no transition plans in place. The Home Office commenced a procurement exercise in April indicating it would fund a service from 1st June but has remained silent since. The Peace Foundation appealed to several Covid 19 related emergency funds, and thanks to the intervention of a philanthropist and other funding can continue the service until 30th September 2020.
The service is niche and not like other victim support. It was designed based on learnings from post conflict zones around the world and includes psychosocial trauma informed specialist casework along with welfare advice and social support, specialised to deal with post war, political violence, and terrorism at home and abroad. Importantly, it recognises the unique position victims of terrorism find themselves in, and seeks to promote resilience and advocacy and to support the wider aspects of the UK Counter Terrorism Strategy.
It employs three full time specialists supported by an associate mental health consultant. It works closely with the NHS. In addition, the service employs a health and well being worker who specialises in supporting victims of ‘the troubles’ domiciled in Great Britain and partners with a Northern Ireland based organisation that supports advocacy and those seeking justice.
The service has 1,500 registered beneficiary contacts, works regularly with around 150 people requiring support, and a small number needing more sensitive interventions.
Unlike countries like France, Germany, and Spain: Great Britain will have no service, and because of leaving the European Union, is no longer able to participate in the various support networks across Europe.
The Peace Foundation is asking for an immediate reinstatement of a grant to stabilise the service and allow a full review to take place that considers the needs of all stakeholders and identifies the clear need.
Nick Taylor, Chief Executive of the Peace Foundation called on the Prime Minister to make good on his commitments: “Our service has been at risk for over 13 months and Civil Servants have not engaged, and not even looked at what has been provided for nearly two decades.
“For the past nine months we have tried to get a resolution with visits by various senior Ministers who have made promises, none of which has been kept. The Prime Minister gave his commitment to resolve the funding in the House of Commons in March, the Home Secretary gave her commitment to visit the Peace Centre. There has been complete ‘radio silence’ and no follow up to these commitments and now it is time for action.
“I call upon the Government to reinstate funding and work with us to find a proper solution to ensure victims of terrorism are supported.”
You can find out more about the Peace Foundation work in the prevention, resolution and response to violent conflict at www.peace-foundation.org.uk – more about the Peace Centre at https://www.thepeacecentre.org.uk/