Extra staff means more women and families across Lancashire can be supported.
SafeNet Domestic Abuse Support Services’s Every Day Free project has received a grant of £272,360 over the next three years from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund to source four members of support staff.
The money will pay for three domestic abuse support workers and a drug and alcohol support worker for SafeNet’s Jane’s Place Recovery Refuge.
They will form part of a team to provide support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to keep women and children safe and free from domestic abuse and provide the specialist help for recovery from that trauma.
Jane’s Place is the first purpose built specialist 24/7 refuge provision in the North West that supports women and their children who as well as fleeing and recovering from domestic abuse, are facing complicated and challenging health issues where additional support is necessary.
It enables individuals who would not necessarily be able to access traditional refuge facilities due to their complex needs and is named in memory of Jane Clough, a nurse at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, who was stabbed to death by her ex partner.
We can offer more help to people with additional needs and are more vulnerable. Once we were running, we were looking to secure money for support workers who can focus on recovery from abuse and addiction, helping them to be more stable.Alex Atkinson
Her parents, Penny and John, are patrons of SafeNet, campaigning for legislative changes to increase the safety of anyone experiencing domestic abuse.
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The team at SafeNet ensure the best network of help is put forward for the women in the refuge, supporting complex needs such as higher level mental health issues, drug and alcohol dependency and offending behaviours. As a result, they aim to remove barriers so women and their children can live a healthy life and look towards a positive future.
Andrya Prescott, SafeNet’s business development manager, says: “We are absolutely delighted that the Big Lottery has funded the vital support work our Every Day Free Project team do. The women in Jane’s Place are over the moon too.
“We hold a variety of fund-raising activities, but the funding from The Big Lottery means we are a giant step closer to our goal of Jane’s Place being fully funded.”
SafeNet help and support women, children and men who are escaping domestic abuse and violence of all kinds, they operate across the North West with a variety of different service offerings.
They have refuges in Preston, Burnley, Lancaster and Rochdale, as well as having community-based services in Blackpool. It also has a refuge for men who have been victims of abuse.
Alex Atkinson, SafeNet’s head of support services, has worked with the organisation for 20 years and was integral in setting Jane’s Place up.
She says: “We decided to develop a project like Jane’s Place, as we were turning away women and children who have higher complex needs, such as drug and alcohol addiction or mental health issues.
“We joined in partnership with Calico and applied for funding for a building for more self contained accommodation, rather than the previous communal living spaces. This means we can offer more help to people with additional needs and are more vulnerable.
“Once we were running, we were looking to secure money for support workers who can focus on recovery from abuse and addiction, helping them to be more stable.
“I oversee provision in all our refuges, ensuring there is enough staff and support whilst offering secure accommodation. We aim to establish family contact and reduce isolation.
“It is satisfying knowing we are making a difference, especially when we get feedback saying we have save someone’s life.”