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Women's refuge wins funding for next year
THE manager of Darlington’s women’s refuge has spoken of her delight after it was confirmed that its grant from the council will continued for another year.
Family Help, the charity that runs the refuge, supports dozens of men, women and children every year, working with partner agencies to get them any advice, healthcare or accommodation that they may need.
At the charity’s annual general meeting, chairwoman Val Mitchell announced that the organisation had been informed by Darlington Borough Council that it would receive funding from the Supporting People grant scheme for the next financial year.
Susan Degnan, manager of the refuge, said the news had come as a great relief as the economic situation means that there is less money in the grant scheme to go around the organisations around the town that currently benefit from it.
Ms Degnan said: “Without that money and without that agreement from the council we would have had to go into the tendering process, where outside bodies and organisations take over the running of the service.
“This extension of the Supporting People grant for the next year will give us breathing space to prepare if we have to go through the tendering process in the future.
“It’s a real relief – the council have to provide some services for domestic violence victims but not a full refuge so it’s great that they’ve decided to give us the grant again.”
In the financial year 2012-2013, the refuge housed 44 women and 63 children, while also finding alternative accommodation for 55 women and 69 children when the refuge’s eight units were full.
A helpline offered by Family Help also received 404 calls from women and 16 from men who were suffering from domestic violence.
The charity would like to thank the people of Darlington for their continuing support for the refuge and the women and children who stay there, with many offering spare clothing, bedding, cash and gifts.
The Family Help helpline is available on 01325-364486.
An outreach service for those who do not require refuge accommodation but who need help and support, called Sanctuary, is available on 01325-283226. Darlington also has a rape and sexual abuse counselling service on 01325-354119.
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