Today, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has announced that he will be signing up to a new pledge in support of organisations which receive grants whilst the current public health emergency continues.

The PCC provides over £3m in grants to groups who support vulnerable people through his Victim’s Commission as well as hundreds of thousands of pounds of smaller grants to community groups who support community safety and social cohesion. In 2019/20 the PCC had a commissioning budget of £17.8m.

The COVID-19 outbreak, the PCC has recognised, may cause some uncertainty and difficulty for those delivering projects and services – which is why the PCC is signing up to this new pledge.

The pledge is led by London Funders, though the new pledge is being signed up to by funders from across the country and is aimed at ensuring that civil society groups have the right support they need in the coming weeks and months.

The pledges the PCC is making to those he funds are:

Adapting activities – we recognise that you may experience difficulties achieving some of the outputs or outcomes we agreed for your grant during the outbreak, and would like to be able to maintain our grant payments to you at originally-agreed levels during this period, so please have a conversation with us if you are affected in this way;

Discussing dates – we don’t want to add pressure, so if you think you will struggle to meet a reporting deadline please get in touch with us so that we can agree a more realistic time for you to get things to us wherever possible;

Financial flexibility – we know you may need to use your funding to help cover sickness, purchase equipment, or deliver services differently, and we will be reasonable if you need to move money between budget headings to ensure your work can continue; and

Listening to you – we are here if you want to talk to us about the situation you’re facing, but we’ll wait for you to call us so that these conversations are at the right time for you.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson said: “It is vital in these uncertain times that organisations which support vulnerable people and the communities of the West Midlands get the assurance of certainty that they will be listened to and won’t be under undue pressure at a time of great stress.

“This pledge is my commitment to the hundreds of groups that I fund that we will support you and do not want to put on any unnecessary strain.

“At this time it is understandable that staff and volunteers may not always be available and that this additional flexibility in the way we work with those who receive funding may need to be different. These pledges seek to make life that bit easier at a very challenging time. “I want to thank all of the projects and services for all of the work they continue to do to support vulnerable people as well as the communities of the West Midlands.”

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