Local women’s refuge receives two top ratings for service excellence

The Santosh Asian Women’s Refuge (SAWR) in Bedford which provides secure temporary accommodation for women and their children fleeing domestic violence and ‘honour’ related abuse, has been recognised for excellent customer service in two independent quality reviews.

SAWR, which is operated by social and supported housing provider Stonewater, has been awarded an ‘A Grade’ in a Quality Assessment Framework (QAF) Audit carried out by Bedford Borough Council Supported Housing team. The refuge has also been rated as a five star service for excellence by the Centre for Housing and Support (CHS).

The Bedford Borough Council Supported Housing contract review assessed the refuge’s support delivery in five key areas including Assessment and Support Planning, Security Health and Safety, Safeguarding and Protection from Abuse, Fair Access, Diversity and Inclusion and Client Involvement and Empowerment. Achieving level ‘A’ marks the establishment out as a leader in its field.

The CHS accredited five star rating and ‘five A’s’ excellence standard also marks the supported housing project out for its outstanding quality.

“We are thrilled to have been recognised as a service of excellence by not one, but two independent auditors,” says Sally Dyde, Stonewater’s Head of Supported Housing. “The aim of the project is to provide Asian women and their children with the help and support they need to rebuild their lives after escaping from domestic abuse and honour-related violence. We aim to build their

self-esteem, provide emotional and cultural support and eventually help them to become independent. Our staff work exceptionally hard all year round to ensure that we can help as many women and children as possible, particularly during the holiday period which can be upsetting and difficult for those separated from family members, and we are pleased that this contribution has not gone unnoticed.”

SAWR staff are currently appealing to members of the community to donate £5 gift cards or vouchers from major stores and supermarkets in the area to bring some festive cheer to homeless and vulnerable women and their children staying at the shelter this Christmas. These can be dropped off or posted to Stonewater’s Milton Keynes office at 5 Mill Square, Featherstone Road, Wolverton Mill South, Milton Keynes MK12 5ZD.