An initiative to tackle hate crime has celebrated its one year anniversary this week.

Funded by the West Mercia police and crime commissioner, John Campion, and run by charity Victim Support, 'i am ME!' offers free counselling to people in Worcestershire and surrounding counties.

The programme specialises in training sessions and generates awareness to help individuals understand hate crimes, how to report them, and the available support systems.


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Victim Support has seen the training delivered to over 1,000 people in the local area, encompassing NHS staff, schools, West Mercia Fire and Rescue Teams, and members of the public.

As the milestone occurs, Victim Support urges individuals in the area to register for the free training.

Through their platform, they have shared instructions on actions to take when witnessing or being informed of a hate crime.

Matthew Cole, hate crime training and engagement officer at Victim Support, said: "We’re thrilled that we have been able to deliver hate crime training and awareness sessions to so many people in West Mercia over the last year.

"By being more informed, we can all play a part in standing together against hate.

"The way we respond to anyone targeted because of their identity is so important in helping them to cope and rebuild their lives.

"No one should have to endure abuse and discrimination for simply being themselves."

Crime Commissioner, John Campion, said: "I understand the damage hate crime causes in communities across West Mercia.

"That’s why I proudly support Victim Support’s ‘i am ME!’ project.

"As PCC, I remain committed through my Safer West Mercia Plan to building a more secure West Mercia and putting victims and survivors first.

"This 1-year milestone is an opportunity to reflect on the important work that continues to take place across the three counties to raise awareness of hate crime, as well as helping victims to feel supported and empowered to report hate crimes to West Mercia Police."

People wanting to registering for the training or finding additional information can contact Victim Support on 01905 726 896 or by email (, available between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.