We are pleased to share that we have successfully been able to extend our existing refuge provision in Lancaster despite the COVID-19 pandemic. By offering additional 24 hour emergency accommodation in a brand new specially converted refuge facility, we are able to offer a higher level of support to victims of domestic abuse.
Ring Stones Maintenance and Construction and Calico Homes have been working together with us on this project to create a 20-bed facility that will offer both traditional refuge support and those with additional complex needs.
The Lancaster refuge will be made up of 15 en-suite bedrooms and 5 self-contained flats, alongside communal kitchens, living areas and a large, secure outdoor play area with modern equipment for children to enjoy. The new facility will provide those who have often suffered instability, abuse and trauma with a safe space to help rebuild their lives and to make a real difference to their future.
The team will deliver in-house specialist domestic abuse support alongside drug, alcohol and mental health recovery programmes, supporting women to take back control and move forward positively towards a life free from domestic abuse.
We have successfully delivered refuge services along with community group work in Lancaster for many years and our existing 6-bed facility in the area will be repurposed to provide a safe, temporary move-on facility to those who are ready to take the next steps towards living independently whilst still receiving vital support to recover from Domestic Abuse.
Alongside 9 traditional refuges, we also deliver Jane’s Place in Burnley; one of the only recovery refuges in the North West. This expansion will allow the team to help even more people with additional complex needs who are escaping domestic abuse. Despite the pandemic, we continue to invest and widen our service offer throughout the county.
Lancashire Refuges is a countywide domestic abuse support service led by us, in partnership with Fylde Coast Women’s Aid (FCWA), The Liberty Centre in West Lancs and Progress Housing Association in South Ribble and Chorley Women’s Refuge.
Together, we offer a wider level of immediate support and temporary accommodation to victims of domestic abuse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a single point of access to accept referrals from across Lancashire, in Burnley, Pendle, Lancaster, Preston, Wyre, Fylde, Leyland, Chorley and Skelmersdale.
Alex Atkinson, Head of SafeNet Support Services, said: “We have been working to extend our provision for some time to offer additional accommodation in the North of Lancashire and were really concerned that the pandemic may affect our ability to achieve this.
“However, Ringstones, Calico Homes and Furniture Matters have worked tirelessly to ensure that the extension to this service was not affected. We are already seeing an increase week on week of referrals for emergency refuge spaces now that lockdown measures are easing and victims are able to access urgent help and support.
“Having this provision in place enables us to carry out our vital work by offering additional safe spaces for families to live free from violence and abuse and recover in a safe, supportive, welcoming environment.”