Lottery Fund saves vital abuse service

THE Big Lottery Fund has saved a domestic abuse service from closure after awarding it over £138,000.

The Broxtowe Women’s Project in Eastwood had its funding cut by Nottinghamshire County Council and would have been forced to close next year without help.

Lisa Dann, the office and finance co-ordinator, said: “I cried and jumped up and down when I heard. It’s amazing news.”

The money will be put towards funding one outreach worker and funding Ms Dann’s position for ten hours per week.

Staff have applied for several other grants, and warn a lot more money will be needed to keep it running as it is today, but they are hopeful that this will at least mean the vital service can continue for another three years.

And Ms Dann said funders will hopefully ‘look more favourably’ on the service now it has been accepted by the Big Lottery.

She said: “It’s saved the project and made us more viable to other funders as well.

“We are waiting for outcomes on other grants, but it stands us in better stead now we have been successful with the lottery. It goes in our favour to say that they are backing us. It’s a massive achievement.”

Broxtowe Women’s Project operates from a secret location in Eastwood and helps over 200 people suffering domestic violence each year.

Lynne Cumming, project manager, said: “Broxtowe Women’s Project experienced a 50 per cent increase in referrals in 2010-2011 and this funding will mean women experiencing domestic abuse will be guaranteed support from a specialist full-time outreach support worker.

“As a result, survivors will feel safer, become less isolated and have increased confidence.”

The group not only takes helpline calls, but also meets women to offer them advice, and gives talks in schools and at local group meetings.

They help women get re-housed, offer them emotional support and advise them on issues such as taking their partners to court, how to clear debt and how to claim benefit.

The project will support more than 120 women and their families over the next three years in areas including Awsworth, Brinsley, Eastwood, Giltbrook, Kimberley, Newthorpe, Nuthall, Trowell and Stapleford.

The news comes just two weeks after the Big Lottery Fund awarded Broxtowe Citizens Advice Bureau £300,000 – helping yet another service in Eastwood to stay open after council cutbacks.

Both lottery grants came from Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme.

Mick McGrath, head of East Midlands for the Big Lottery Fund, said: “I am honoured that we are supporting two such important organisations to continue to offer their vital support and advice services.

“Both Broxtowe Women’s Project and Citizens’ Advice Broxtowe give so much back to their communities by providing a listening ear and enabling families to lead lives without fear.”