Abuse work set to expand

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A vital charity that works with domestic abuse sufferers in Blackpool has been given a six-figure boost to fund an expansion programme.

Bispham-based Empowerment has been awarded £353,000 as part of the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme, to build on its work with children in the resort.

The charity, which is one of 12 across the North West to take a share of the programme’s £3.8m, will now be able to extend its service to cover Fylde and Wyre for the next five years.

Ellen Miller, the chief executive of Empowerment, said: “This is brilliant news – we are really pleased.

“It is horrible having to go into schools and turn people down when we know we can do this.

“We have now got funding to run the service in Wyre and Fylde, meaning we can go across the whole area.

“And this is amazing because you never get five-year funding in the charity sector.”

The money will fund a service known as The Den, that works with young people over a period of weeks, helping them understand how to keep themselves safe.

The charity, which has been running for five years, works with young people on a one-on-one basis to protect them from domestic abuse before helping to restore their self-confidence.

Mrs Miller said: “There is an awful lot of domestic abuse on the Fylde coast – it is one of the national hotspots.

“But we do make a difference, and it’s something we are very proud of.

“The workers love what they do and they are very passionate about it.”

She said work will begin immediately, ahead of the service going live in Fylde and Wyre from February.

Tim Davies-Pugh, the Big Lottery Fund deputy director for England, said: “It’s really great to see how projects across the North West, like this initiative to support children and young people affected by abuse, are set to make a positive difference for those most vulnerable in our local communities. Thanks to National Lottery players, over the last 20 years, projects like those receiving funding today have changed lives 
and communities for the better.”