Lancashire Refuges partnership: one year on
Countywide domestic abuse partnership supports over 600 women and children in first year - but there is still more to do
In its first year, Lancashire Refuges has supported over 600 women and children in 10 Refuges across Lancashire.
The countywide domestic abuse support service led by SafeNet Domestic Abuse and Support Services in partnership with Fylde Coast Women’s Aid (FCWA), The Liberty Centre and Progress Housing Group, offers a wide level of immediate support to victims of domestic abuse with a single point of access to accept referrals from across Lancashire.
Whilst this figure shows just how many people this life saving service currently supports, it is recognised that there is still much more work to do, as they are still only able to accommodate 27% of the referrals they receive. Meaning that just under three quarters of those living with domestic abuse in Lancashire are not yet able access support in a Refuge setting.
In July, Lancashire Refuges successfully expanded their existing refuge provision with a new SafeNet refuge opened in Lancaster despite the COVID-19 pandemic. By offering additional 24 hour emergency accommodation in a brand new specially converted 20-bed refuge facility, that offers both traditional refuge and additional complex needs support.
One resident said, “When I left home with my son, I was so afraid of the decision I’d made. The help I have received here has helped me to believe that I can live a normal life.”
Helen Gauder, Managing Director SafeNet, said, “We are proud of the women and children we have supported this year as they work towards safer, healthier and happier futures. And we will continue to deliver quality accommodation with specialist bespoke support to keep all victims and survivors safe. We are working to strengthen and extend refuge services to ensure we can sustain and grow our services to meet the increasing demand for safe refuge spaces in Lancashire.”
Liz Stanton, Refuge Manager at Progress Housing Group added, “We’ve come so far at South Ribble and Chorley refuges over the last 20 years and achieved so much to protect women and children fleeing domestic abuse. Working in partnership as part of the Lancashire Refuges consortium led by Safenet for the last year has enabled us to reach and protect many more women and children at risk and we’ve also continued to support national campaigns together such as the White Ribbon and the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Make a Stand campaigns to end domestic abuse and violence.”
County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said, “The work of our commissioned refuges is vitally important in order for us protect and support some of our most vulnerable people in Lancashire. SafeNet and partners do a tremendous job in helping us to keep women and children safe. They have provided proactive, innovative and responsive services, especially during some particularly difficult times over the last few months.”