23 June 2020: Stonewater to increase domestic abuse services

In response to the increasing demand for domestic abuse support services due to lockdown restrictions amid the Covid-19 outbreak, a specialist supported housing provider has been successful in its bid for additional funding.

Stonewater supporting domestic abuse survivors

Stonewater is now in a position to house and support an additional 20 survivors of domestic abuse after being awarded a share of the £8.1 million government funding to continue providing life-saving services during the current crisis.

The organisation’s refuges have been at full capacity throughout the pandemic with its provisions in South Hampshire, Bedfordshire and Wiltshire, receiving an influx of referrals for only a small number of vacancies.

The money will be used to support women and their families, as well as members of the LGBTQ+ community fleeing domestic abuse. This includes providing safe accommodation and supporting customers with no recourse to public funds to access legal counsel.

Much of the work carried out at Stonewater’s refuges involves supporting people to understand the abuse they have fled and give them the space to make decisions that will help lead them to build a safer and happier life for themselves, whereby they can live independently. Therefore, the funding will also be used to provide therapeutic intervention to its residents.

Andrew King, Head of Supported Housing at Stonewater, said: “Helping these survivors in securing safe accommodation is only one piece of the jigsaw. Many of these individuals flee their perpetuator with few or no belongings and so we will be using some of this funding to provide home starter packs, educational resources and even buy toys for their children, so they can begin to feel comfortable, truly settle in and start to rebuild their lives.

“In addition to this, we will also be using the funding to cover the cost of food parcels and any hygiene products that are needed, especially for those residents who do not have any current income.”

Ahead of the funding announcement and despite not having any vacancies at its specialist provisions, Stonewater has been allocating alternative and suitable accommodation for any individuals affected by domestic abuse, for the last three months.

This has included arranging virtual sessions with the organisation’s specialist domestic abuse coaches – enabling them to continue their much-needed work with the individuals that need it. To make a referral, please contact: safespace@stonewater.org.