Boost of £100,000 will mean more support for victims of domestic abuse in Norwich

Photo: Nick Butcher.

Photo: Nick Butcher. - Credit: EDP pics © 2007

More than 250 women and children fleeing domestic abuse will get extra help in Norwich thanks to a £100,000 cash boost.

The money, awarded to Norwich City Council by the government, will fund a full-time domestic abuse care worker for the city's five refuges, run by domestic abuse charity Leeway.

It will also provide four extra beds in a new Norwich safe house.

Mandy Proctor, chief executive of Leeway, said: 'I am delighted the partnership has won this funding and will allow us to respond to increasing demand for support.'

The funding will also go towards longer term support for those in need, in the form of a rent guarantee scheme which will help women move into rented accommodation.

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The council says nearly a third of the people who use Leeway's services have additional needs, such as mental health issues and substance misuse so being able to employ a specialist case worker to provide crisis support is invaluable.

They say it is also vital in giving women the confidence and ability to make decisions about their lives and feel equipped and prepared to leave the refuge, when ready.

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But the council says when women do feel ready to move on, with the demands on social housing, it is not always easy to find accommodation quickly, which means they are staying longer in refuges than they need.

The idea is that, by providing a rent guarantee scheme, women and their children will be helped to move into independent living in private accommodation.

Vaughan Thomas, city council cabinet member for fairness and equality, said: 'Winning this funding is incredible news for the city as it means some of our most vulnerable residents can be given vital support they need, when they need it the most.

'Our long-standing partnership with Leeway to build the services we can provide so they are tailored to the city's needs will be something we will continue to develop.'

The money was awarded by the Department for Communities and Local Government - part of a £20m pot to support victims of domestic abuse

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