The Precious Trust were awarded £17,876 from the Foundation’s Doing Things Differently Fund which has enabled vital support to reach young women, girls and their families across the West Midlands.
Launched in 2012, The Precious Trust, was set up in memory of Latisha Shakespeare who was murdered in 2003. Their mission is to support victims of exploitation by keeping them safe, rebuilding their lives and giving them a more positive future.
Jessica Pritchard, Project Manager at The Precious Trust, said:
“What we’ve found is when people talk about gang violence it’s all about males, there’s nothing around girls!
“The more we delved into it they had all experienced different forms of loss and bereavement, even before COVID we were already talking about them needing more around bereavement and loss.
“COVID happened and we thought we needed this more than ever, on top of the violence these women were now at home, alone and all the services have been shut down.”
The funding was awarded to help The Precious Trust provide support over the phone and set a Grief Recovery Programme. Not only does the support cover women, young girls and their families, it also supports professionals who want to do more.
“We had an e-mail from a mum, at about 4am. It read: ‘I’m really worried about my daughter, I’ve been calling all the places I know, and I’ve just found your website’.
“She’d spoken to some major organisations, she’d contacted the police and everyone said they didn’t have the capacity. We said we’d call her and we weren’t going away. The second week we called; she broke down in tears! She said: ‘I didn’t think you were ever going to call me back’.
“The daughter had been groomed by a gang member, she didn’t want to say anything and social services dropped the case. We were able to contact them, get the case re-opened and now that girl’s getting help.”
The Precious Trust is currently in regular contact with 23 individuals and organisations and it’s clear that without this funding many vulnerable people would fall by the wayside.
“The main story is they’ve got no one else to call, it’s been a complete lifeline. Without having the resources to say: ‘we will call you’ and whether that’s listening or offering practical advice, it’s just been able to give us an opportunity to do that!”
For more information about the Foundation’s COVID-19 response please click here.