Victim Support and 30 smaller charities have formed an alliance that will involve joint lobbying of government ministers and could lead to shared funding bids and service delivery.
The charities have formed the Victims’ Services Alliance, a group of charities that represent the interests of victims of crime. Victim Support, the largest of the charities and the instigator of the alliance, will host the group’s secretariat and employ one member of staff to run it.
Javed Khan, chief executive of Victim Support, said the charity would also provide a "small operational budget" to fund meetings between the charities.
He said members of the alliance would begin by sharing information, responding jointly to government consultations and campaigning together on key issues. He said in future the alliance would consider joint funding bids, sharing services and sharing back office functions.
"Traditionally, this part of the sector has been competitive," he said. "Often victims’ charities will be set up by an individual who has suffered trauma or who wants to remember a loved one and their work is deeply personal to them.
"But there are too many organisations trying to do too many things in this field and it is not good for service users. They don’t know who to turn to," he said.
Khan said increased demand and reduced resources meant it was necessary for victims’ groups to work together. "We can no longer meet the needs of our beneficiaries by working separately," he said.
He said Victim Support had been seen as the "big brother" of smaller charities for victims. "The trouble is that we’ve been good at being big but hopeless at being the brother," he said. "This is about offering shelter to organisations that are having difficult times."
Khan said he expected the alliance to cause some difficulties. "It would be naïve to think this was all going to be rosy," he said. "Of course there will be fallouts and conflicting voices, but I think that is acceptable sometimes."
Earlier this year, Victim Support made 250 of its 1,750 staff redundant after losing £7m in funding from the Ministry of Justice, which represented 16 per cent of its income.
The following groups have joined the alliance:
Advocacy After Fatal Domestic Abuse
Assist Trauma Care
CADD (Campaign Against Drinking and Driving)
Cassandra Learning Centre
Child Bereavement Charity
Cruse Bereavement Care
Damn: Death After Medical Negligence
Families Fighting for Justice
Justice After Acquittal
KnifeCrimes.Org & Victims' Advocates
Marchioness Action Group
Mothers Against Violence
National Victims' Association
Road Victim’s Trust
Samm South East
SCARD (Support and Care after Road death and Injury)
The Compassionate Friends
The Godwin Lawson Trust
The Jimmy Mizen Foundation
The Lucie Blackman Trust & Missing Abroad
The Moira Fund
The North Southwark Bereavement Care Association
The Red Poppy Company
The Robert Levy Foundation