It is extremely important that you follow the house rules while you are with us to protect you, your fellow tenants and members of staff.

Please make yourself familiar with and follow the rules outlined below. Any breach of these rules by a woman or any person resident with her may result in her being asked to leave for the safety of current and future tenants.

The locations and telephone numbers of our refuges must not be disclosed to anyone without getting prior permission from a member of staff.

The actual addresses should never be used.

Anyone putting staff and other residents in danger will be asked to leave or be moved to other accommodation.

To have mail delivered to us, please use the following address:

South Ribble and Chorley Women's Refuges, PO Box 203, PR25 4WW

If you arrange a taxi or are meeting family or friends then please arrange to do so away from where you are staying.

Reason:

The safety and security of all women and children using our refuges is essential. The fewer people who know the location of the buildings, the better.

Unfortunately visitors cannot be allowed in or near our refuges and they must not be told where they are.

Only official visitors like social workers are allowed in and then only by prior arrangement with the office.

Reason:

Again this rule exists for safety reasons. Confidentiality in respect of the locations of our refuges is vital and in the interest of present and future residents. It is essential that as few people as possible know exactly where we are.

We appreciate that you need the support of your family and friends at this difficult time but must ask that you meet them at a place away from our refuges.

The only exception to this rule is the people employed by Progress Housing Group and official visitors like the police. All of these people are duty bound to keep the address secret.

If contact between your children and their father takes place, this must be arranged somewhere away from us.

All women living at our refuges must share responsibility for their security.

When staff are on duty they will answer the door.

On those occasions when the house is unstaffed it is important that:

  • You check the camera screen by the front door before opening it
  • You never answer any queries, or give out any information to callers regarding other residents
  • If you don’t know the caller then do not engage with them and do not open the door
  • Never allow children to answer the front door, whatever the circumstances.

Reason: 

Security and safety of residents can only be guaranteed if everyone is vigilant.

Women have a personal responsibility towards other residents using our services to ensure that the refuges remain safe places to live. 

It is not fair on children to compromise their safety and to put them in a position of deciding who should be let into the building.

It must be remembered at all times that women as well as men, can be very plausible if they are trying to find out the location of a woman fleeing domestic abuse.

Aggressive, threatening or offensive behaviour towards other residents, neighbours or members of staff is totally unacceptable. This includes bullying between women or children.

Under no circumstances must weapons be brought onto the premises.

Any unresolved disputes between women should be reported to staff. You can also report instances of anti-social behaviour by clicking here.

Reason:

Women come into Clare House to escape violence and unreasonable behaviour and must not be faced with it during their stay. Women and children need to feel safe during their stay with us.

The harassment of any resident or members of staff on the grounds of their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual identity or disability is completely unacceptable.

Please report any harassment to staff immediately. You can also report this sort of behaviour online by clicking here. 

Reason:

Progress Housing Group's policy is to provide refuge and support to any woman meeting its criteria. 

Residents are asked to respect this policy and to remember that all occupants have equal rights.

Non-prescribed drugs or solvents must not be brought onto the premises. They are illegal and you will be reported to the police.

Any prescribed drugs must be kept safely locked in the medicine cabinet provided in each bathroom.

Reason:

The safety of other women and children, as well as staff, is of utmost importance and in no way can it be compromised. 

The presence/use of illegal substances will not be tolerated.

It is also important that every care is taken to ensure that children do not have access to any prescribed drugs kept on the premises.

No alcohol is allowed on the premises and women are discouraged from consuming alcohol outside the premises to the extent that their behaviour is affected.

Aggressive, violent and intimidating behaviour resulting from the consumption of alcohol will not be tolerated.

Reason:

People’s behaviour changes when they have been drinking alcohol.

Also a number of women and their children living with us will have escaped from partners who are abusive and threatening when under the influence of alcohol.

Smoking is only allowed outside the building in the designated area. Please ask a member of staff for details.

Reason:

Both smokers and non-smokers have to live and work alongside each other, with particular consideration being given to the health of any children living there.

We also have to be aware of the fire risk.

Unfortunately it is not possible to accommodate pets (except guide dogs).

If you have pets we can arrange for them to be fostered during your stay with us. Please see a member of staff for details.

Reason: 

There is limited room in the building and we have to take into account people’s allergies and people who are afraid of dogs and other animals.

Residents are responsible for keeping their own bedroom(s) and bathroom clean and tidy. 

In addition they will share the responsibility for cleaning any kitchens or corridors they share with another woman/family. 

Residents must clear up items that they have used in communal areas as well as take their turn with the cleaning rota.

Rooms in individual suites and shared kitchens will be checked on a weekly basis by staff as part of the health and safety check. 

Reason:

Cleanliness is important for the comfort and safety of all current and future residents.

Residents can only stay out overnight once they are in receipt of Housing Benefit and if they have payed their weekly personal charge.

Residents must not be absent for more than two nights in any week.

Staff must be informed before 9pm if residents intend to stay out overnight.

The Police will be contacted where staff have cause for concern about a resident who is absent without explanation.

In any case, any resident away for more than two nights may be asked to leave so that their room can be relet.

Reason:

Absence for more than two nights affects your entitlement to your benefits. This is a Housing Benefit rule and applies to all women during their stay.

We are committed to helping as many women as we can and cannot allow rooms to stand empty if they are required by other women in urgent need of our support.

All children of school age should be at school during their stay with us. Children’s support workers will help with finding a new school.

Reason:

Apart from it being illegal for children to be absent from school, unless ill, it is important for your child’s stability to remain in contact with their peers and to maintain a normal routine.

Under no circumstances must children be left in their rooms unsupervised. All children under eight years should be in bed by 8pm.

Children aged nine to 12 years should be in bed by 9pm and children aged 13 and over by 10pm.

Reason:

This rule is intended to be as much for your own benefit as for your child’s. It is appreciated that at home you will have your own rules about bedtimes but we would ask you to consider other women living here who may need time in other adult company without children overhearing conversations.

Routines for children can be reassuring for them at a time when life has been disrupted in other respects.

Babysitting for other women is discouraged.

However, children must never be left in the house alone without arrangements being made with regard to babysitting.

The mother must inform staff when a child is being left in someone else’s care and complete the babysitting book and provide a contact telephone number.

No woman should be responsible for more than four children at any one time, except where they are her own.

Persons under 16 years of age must not be left looking after children.

Reason: 

The safety and welfare of children whilst living in Clare House is essential.

Residents should return by 11pm at the latest.

Reason:

Staff are only paid until 11pm and need to lock up before they go to bed and if residents return later than this time then we have to find extra funds to pay them.

All rent payments must be paid promptly each week. Any resident more than three weeks in arrears will be in breach of their Licence Agreement and may be asked to leave.

When residents first move in, if they do not receive any money for some time then we can wait for the rent. This is on the understanding that once their money is through they will clear what rent they owe.

Reason:

We can only continue to offer a place of safety and give support to yourself and other women if it receives the income due to it and remains financially viable.

These will be held regularly and all women are encouraged to attend. In addition, separate house meetings will be held for children.

Reason: 

These meetings are for discussing any problems that arise in the daily running of the house and for making you aware of decisions that affect you.

Our insurance policy does not cover residents' personal belongings and no liability can be accepted by Progress Housing Group for any such losses.

Any loss should be reported to a member of staff as soon as possible.

Reason:

Residents should take every precaution to keep their belongings safe. We try to keep the rent and service charge as low as possible and personal belongings insurance is not an included item.

If you want to protect your possessions then we work in conjunction with the National Housing Federation to help our tenants and residents purchase insurance that is affordable.

For further information please visit the National Housing Federation website or contact them on 0845 337 2463 or 01628 586 189.

A swipe card to the front door and keys to a bedroom will be issued to each resident when they move in. Any loss or failure to hand them in when moving out will be recharged to the resident concerned.

Reason:

For security reasons residents are asked to take every care of the swipe card/keys loaned to them and to remember the implication of lost keys/swipe cards for current and future residents.

We cannot afford to keep replacing swipe cards or keys.

Residents will be recharged the cost of any damage they cause to the fabric of the building, furnishings or equipment that is deemed to be beyond fair wear and tear. This will include damage caused by residents' children. 

Reason:

Residents are under an obligation during their stay with us to respect the building and all furniture and equipment provided within it. Replacements and repairs are expensive and other residents will need to use the facilities in the future.

Residents must not use chip pans, candles, incense sticks or plug-in air fresheners.

Reason:

The fire service have advised us that the main causes of fire in a house of multiple occupancies like ours are chip pans, candles and incense sticks.

To ensure your safety we ask that you do not use these or any other object that can be ignited and left unattended. 

Deep fat fryers are provided in all kitchens.

For more information please refer to your welcome pack or speak to a member of staff.