Domestic abuse charity takes over new refuge

Mandy Proctor, chief executive of Leeway, the charity providing support to those experiencing domest

Mandy Proctor, chief executive of Leeway, the charity providing support to those experiencing domestic abuse. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Leeway Domestic Violence and Abuse Services has been commissioned by Norfolk County Council to take over running of refuge provisions in the Broadland area.

The refuge was previously run by national housing association Home Group, and the change came into effect on Thursday, taking the number of refuges run by Leeway across the county up to seven.

This follows on from the opening of Leeway's sixth refuge back in autumn 2017, which was decorated thanks to funds raised through the Eastern Daily Press' campaign in memory of Kerri McAuley.

The Broadland refuge is able to house up to five women and eight children, providing a safe environment for those experiencing domestic abuse.

Leeway's trained staff will offer high-quality support to empower residents in taking the next steps in their life, free from domestic abuse.

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In 2016/17, Leeway supported over 9,500 people, with 328 women and children supported across the charity's refuges.

Mandy Proctor, Leeway chief executive said: 'It is really important that there are safe spaces, such as these, available to those experiencing domestic abuse. We are delighted that we are able to run so many provisions across the county, providing specialist support and enabling the women and children to rebuild their lives. In a time where many organisations across the country are struggling to keep these provisions open, we are delighted to have the backing of our local councils and partner agencies.'

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Louise Smith, director of public health at Norfolk County Council, said: 'Refuges for anyone affected by domestic abuse are a real lifeline, as they support people to turn a corner and build a positive future for themselves - that's why we are continuing to fund refuges across Norfolk.

'This is just one of the ways we are tackling the problem – along with raising awareness and creating a network of community 'champions' who are taught to spot the signs of domestic abuse and show people where they can find help.

'Leeway has given a huge amount of help to so many people in desperate situations and this will enable it to offer its support to even more people across the county.'

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