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The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, has awarded over £3,000 to a local organisation focused on providing mental health support to people in need throughout the pandemic.

It is funded using money seized from criminals to pay for the project.

Dudley Mind has been providing extra counselling sessions for people who are experiencing an emergence or deterioration in their mental health. The service has also been providing an immediate response telephone support line staffed by volunteers and is also developing new ways of contact through Zoom and Skype.

By providing this service Dudley Mind is working to reduce the need for people to be reliant on statutory services and reduce the number of hospital admissions. The support line is available to anyone until midnight daily.

The Community Initiatives Fund provides support for voluntary and community activity to help vulnerable people during the COVID 19 crisis.

Following a surge in voluntary and community activity to help vulnerable people during the COVID 19 crisis, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, has made £200,000 available over the next six months to support active citizenship within local communities.

This money has been seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act cannot be spent on officer pay.

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Waheed Saleem, who leads on the Community Initiatives Fund said: “Through our Community Initiatives Fund, a total of over £200,000 will be ploughed back into the local community over the next six months.

“Dudley Mind are doing a magnificent job in supporting the most vulnerable people in their community. I am delighted we have been able to provide £3,200 to support the work they are doing.

“Mental health is an issue that affects many people across the West Midlands and across the country. The Coronavirus pandemic will have either made existing mental health conditions worse or would have led to people suffering for the first time.   

“Mental health places a considerable strain on the force and Dudley Mind are doing excellent work by helping to reduce this demand.

“Dudley Mind is doing great work in providing support for people who need it most throughout this difficult time”.

Sandra Vaughan Chief Executive of Dudley Mind said:“Dudley Mind are extremely grateful for the support we have received. We do not get any direct funding so are reliant on donations, grants and fundraising. Our aim is always to direct any monies received into supporting people with their mental health.

“During the lockdown we have had unprecedented calls to our support line from people who felt that they were coping very well. COVID-19 has put a strain on everyone.  A large number of people we have been able to support have been male and also people from the BAME communities.

“Our staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly during the last few months supporting our existing client group as well as other people who have been in desperate need of help.  Unfortunately a lot of services have had to cancel what they can offer and some of these have still not got back into any routine.

“Thankfully with your help we have been able to establish peer mentoring groups through Zoom and also more recently resume some face to face groups albeit with all the necessary precautions and safety feature in places. We are also able to support people who need to access the internet at The Mind Hub and help them to apply for benefits etc.”

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