Leading Gateshead diversity arts organisation GemArts has delivered a mate crime awareness project with the help of funding from the housing company’s Community Fund.
Mate crime is a form of hate crime where a vulnerable person, often with a learning disability, is taken advantage of by someone pretending to be their friend. This person exploits them financially, physically or sexually.
It’s a growing issue faced by a number of our customers, especially now that Universal Credit can leave people vulnerable to financial abuse, so it was important for us to support the project.
GemArts artist Tommy Anderson delivered participatory arts workshops with members of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Group and the charity Changing Lives, to create a series of artworks explaining what mate crime is and how to report it.
The artwork takes the form of postcards, a poster, and an envelope design. There is also a short film which describes a series of personal stories of mate crime victims – you can watch it here.
Alexandra Marsden Gordon, GemArts Project Manager, said: “Thanks to the housing company for supporting our #endmatecrime project, which shows how easily vulnerable people can be targeted and the negative impact it can have on people’s lives.
“These issues are not always easy to talk about, but this creative project has really enabled participants to open up and share their stories.”
Involvement and Diversity Officer Simon Hand said: “If you are a housing company tenant who’s concerned that you or someone you know has been a victim of mate crime, contact us on the details below.”
For more information about GemArts visit www.gemarts.org
If you’re interested in getting involved in future projects like this, email the Customer Involvement Team or call 0191 433 5357.