The addition of £25 million from the Home Office into the Safer Streets fund is an opportunity for Oldham to improve its work in schools to combat violence against women and girls, and combat public street harassment, says local Liberal Democrat councillor Sam Al-Hamdani
With the opportunity to bid for up to £550,000, Councillor Al-Hamdani has written to Oldham Council to ensure that they apply to run a programme later this year, such as introducing educational and community programmes across the Borough.
Councillor Al-Hamdani said: “Oldham Council already pledged to support Our Streets Now’s work to improve education in schools to combat harassment, and it is vital that we take every opportunity to change the culture around violence and abuse.
“The release of the Ofsted review of sexual abuse emphasized that all schools must be actively dealing with this. We cannot be complacent. Too many people have suffered, and we must change this.”
Following the Council’s motion in support of the criminalisation of street harassment, Our Streets Now have already run a workshop for the town’s Youth Council, and contacted Al-Hamdani, who created and proposed the motion, to discuss the opportunity for the Council to bid for the Safer Streets fund.
Councillor Al-Hamdani continued: “The work that Our Streets Now have done across the UK is amazing, and I am glad that they have reached out to us to see how they can help more in Oldham.
“Projects like this can help regain people’s trust. Sadly, too many victims of abuse lack trust in social services, in police, and even in charities. We need to make sure that they gain the support that they need, and rebuild that trust so that other people can benefit from the support that is out there.
“These crimes do more to undermine someone’s sense of self than any other. We need to understand, to have empathy, and to do everything we can to reach out and offer support.”