With financial support from government agencies becoming increasingly precarious, community support is vital to the continuation of Refuge’s services. Refuge provides 15 units of emergency accommodation in Richmond and is a fantastic example of people coming together to support women and children escaping domestic violence and abuse.
We are incredibly grateful to Richmond Mayor Ben Khosa, who has continued his predecessor Cllr. Sue Sampson’s support of Refuge in the mayoral office by selecting Refuge as his 2019 charity. As of May 2019 Mayor Khosa has raised over £20,000 in support of Refuge through events such as the multi-faith Peace and Unity event, cycling and marathon events and skydiving for which we are hugely grateful.
Mayor Khosa said “It is one of the privileges of the Mayor to be able to meet and thank the many charities and wonderful volunteers in our delightful borough who give their time so freely to enrich the lives of others without any expectations of reward or recognition.”
In addition to the two refuges in Richmond, we also provide advocacy-based services through independent domestic violence advocates (IDVAs) and outreach workers, who provide women and children with the support they need to build a new life free from fear and abuse. The community support Refuge receives in Richmond can also be seen with our partner agencies, many with whom we co-locate, for example: the Council Housing Department, drug and alcohol services, Children’s Centres, the Police Station, Civic Centre and Local Advice Centre.
Detective inspector Matt East said: “[Refuge’s] support and guidance to our staff on a daily basis, has aided them (along with myself) to a massive extent. Your support and guidance to the survivors of domestic abuse also cannot be fully measured, but needless to say it has been exemplary and 1st class…Your team are always very professional, focused and motivated to do the best thing for the victim and survivors.”
With ongoing support in communities we are better equipped to help survivors and address violence against women and girls. Thanks to the community support we have in Richmond the service receives a high rate of self-referrals; for example in our outreach services this is 26% compared to 15% across Refuge’s outreach services nationally.
“I will always tell people what this service has done for me – it was the biggest help I received since being in this country.” Survivor of abuse who accessed support in Richmond.