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Liz launches regional network of DAPHNE projects fighting violence against women and young people

December 15, 2010 10:39 AM

Euro MP Liz Lynne was guest speaker at the launch of a network of projects from all over the West Midlands region fighting violence in the community which together have won nearly £3 million support from the EU's DAPHNE programme.

The move to set up a West Midlands DAPHNE project network follows the great success of local teams in the funding round this year, with 7 out of the 16 successful bids for DAPHNE support awarded in the UK this year coming from the West Midlands region.

Staff from the West Midlands European Service (WMES), formerly West Midlands in Europe, provided help to the projects during the application phase earlier this year after a seminar at Newman College in Birmingham attracted a range of new project ideas. Now WMES staff and local Lib Dem MEP Liz Lynne have joined the winning project teams to launch a West Midlands regional DAPHNE network at Coventry University.

Liz Lynne said: "It was great to celebrate the success of local projects in winning EU backing for their plans to tackle violence in local communities and share their expertise.

"I must highlight the sterling support provided by Sophie Lainé, Abdul Qadir and the team at the West Midlands European Service. The fact that so many bids from our region were successful is a tribute to their hard work and expert advice.

"These projects are pioneering innovative ways to tackle a range of situations where violence ruins the lives of women or vulnerable girls and boys.

"The projects vary, from tackling the high number of women sleeping rough in Wolverhampton, to addressing the internal or cross-border trafficking of young girls and helping children cope with domestic violence via playground initiatives.

"Another really innovative project led by Coventry University is a plan to develop a video roleplaying game to help teenage boys and girls confront 'date rape' and violence. This is so often a hidden problem, but we know it causes many young adolescents great trauma and sometimes dangerous injuries."

"A key role of the DAPHNE programme is also to identify what works and share it with others facing the same problem. The new West Midlands DAPHNE network will share their best practice and use it to inform policy in councils, government and the EU and hopefully be a model of how to go about this effectively.

"I always thought the DAPHNE programme was a fantastic use of quite small amounts of EU funds to help community projects fight a great social evil. Here in the West Midlands we are showing how the EU can make a real difference helping communities tackling violence against women and vulnerable young people."


Notes: €2,789,580.96 in EU grant funding was secured for the West Midlands Lead Partners in new DAPHNE programmes, who include: Newman University College, University of Wolverhampton, Coventry University, Keele University, Telford & Wrekin Council, The Haven (Wolverhampton) and Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Partnership.

The West Midlands European Service (formerly West Midlands in Europe and EU Connects) provided valuable one to one help for the applicants and Liz Lynne wrote letters of support. 77% of applications from the region were successful, compared to the average of 37%. Of the 16 successful projects in the UK in this round, seven were from the West Midlands.

Successful project bids approved for DAPHNE funding in the round earlier this year include:

· 'STREETWISE' European street violence project - Newman University College - fighting street and peer violence which is identified as an issue in Birmingham. Will work with 6 partner organisations across the EU - in part analysis & research to make street- based youth work more effective in preventing and combating street violence by working with young people. Peer research, training, DVDs documenting the research process and young people's experience.

· CAVA: Changing Attitudes to dating Violence among adolescents - Coventry University Objective - an innovative approach to changing attitudes to violence and abuse in dating relationships among 12 to 16-year-olds. Use of a role playing video game as central learning tool, with scenarios of different stages of a relationship and role play of situations that sometimes lead to violence. The player can be the male or the female or a friend of the couple in the role playing game. Fun but also teaches children the consequences of violence.

· 'READAPT' - Relationship Education and Domestic Abuse education - Keele University - best practice in education of teenagers and young people - the project aims to educate those who live with an abusive parent or who are entering romantic relationships of their own

· 'Women rough sleepers' - University of Wolverhampton - a study relating to women who have suffered abuse and the development of policy strategy & knowledge transfer (sharing best practice) activities to support rough sleepers and help them into accommodation. Research study into needs of this group & organisation development such as access to services, hoping to create an EU network to support those dealing with vulnerable women sleeping rough.

· SITEMAP - Stopping Internal Trafficking and Exploitation through multi-agency partnerships - Telford & Wrekin Council - aims to raise awareness of internal trafficking, effective identification of trafficking and measures to tackle it. Also looks to develop ways to safeguard those at risk. Working with public authorities.

· COMBAT - Combining Against Trafficking - Coventry, Solihull & Warwickshire Partnership

Aim - to raise awareness of trafficking at front-line/ grass roots level. Contributing to protection and safeguarding of vulnerable & at risk women and children. Training events in partner countries, leaflets, a film will be made on the reality of child trafficking. Resources also used to train professionals to be aware of the problem and how to fight it.

Counselling Survivors - The Haven (Wolverhampton), A comparative study on counselling support approaches with victims of violence and how they are funded in the West Midlands with partners in Portugal, Germany, Italy and Bulgaria and other countries.