Funding saves vital lifeline for women

Fylde Coast Women's Aid service manager Tina Hibbard.
Fylde Coast Women's Aid service manager Tina Hibbard.
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Two Fylde coast refuges which provide sanctuary for women who are victims of domestic abuse look to have been saved.

The centres in Fylde and Wyre, operated by Fylde Coast Women’s Aid, were facing an uncertain future due to potential council cuts.

But Lancashire County Council has this week confirmed it will provide £1.25m funding for domestic abuse services, including £800,000 for Lancashire’s nine women’s refuges, down from £900,000 last year.

The funding was today welcomed by Fylde Coast Women’s Aid (FCWA).

Service manager Tina Hibbard said; “The new funding represents a significant reduction in the existing budget but should ensure Lancashire’s nine refuges stay open.

“After a period of great uncertainty, FCWA hopes this decision will increase the stability of these essential services and protect their combined knowledge and expertise.

“Historically, Lancashire has had an excellent track record in keeping victims of domestic abuse safe, with a lower number of domestic abuse murders than the national average.

“Keeping refuge services running without disruption will have a tremendous impact on victims of domestic abuse and their children seeking refuge in Lancashire.”

Nearly 9,000 people signed a petition calling for the refuges to be saved, backed by the parents of murdered Blackpool nurse Jane Clough, John and Penny Clough.Blackpool’s refuge is funded separately by Blackpool Council.