Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Barnstaple women’s refuge will ‘stay open’ despite funding setback

PUBLISHED: 11:16 25 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:16 25 February 2014

North Devon Against Domestic Abuse has vowed to keep its refuge in Barnstaple open.

North Devon Against Domestic Abuse has vowed to keep its refuge in Barnstaple open.

Archant

Charity vows to find its own funding to support domestic abuse victims.

AN eleventh-hour move to safeguard funding for a women’s refuge in Barnstaple has been quashed by Devon County Council.

A motion to amend the budget, proposed by Barnstaple North county councillor Brian Greenslade, failed to gain the support of the council at a meeting on Thursday.

Now, the charity that runs the refuge, which supports between 50 and 60 families a year, will have to rely on community fundraising to keep the service open.

During the year it runs at a 97 per cent occupancy rate and is currently full, supporting eight women and 16 children.

Susan Wallis, chief executive of North Devon Against Domestic Abuse, vowed the charity would keep it open with ‘grassroots funding’.

“We are keeping it open – that’s a definite,” she said.

“We haven’t found alternative funding yet and are planning to run on reserves. That should see us through the next for or five months while we look for alternative funding.”

Ms Wallis said the charity, which has delivered domestic abuse services in North Devon for 37 years, would be boosted by the opening of a second charity store at the end of the month.

“Re:Store and Re:Store Junior will be the base from which we start our fundraising,” she said.

“But we will also be returning to grass roots fundraising and asking the community to help out, including support groups in all our outlying areas.”

As reported in the Gazette earlier this month the council has awarded a three-year domestic abuse contract to Wiltshire-based Splitz Support Service, which does not have to provide a refuge under the terms of the new deal.

Following Thursday’s meeting at County Hall in Exeter, Cllr Greenslade said he felt that the situation had been badly handled by the council, with no assurances that some sort of service could continue to be provided locally.

Despite the defeat, he said he was still hopeful that a local solution could be found.

He said: “The police can go in and remove an offender, which is fine, but the police will not be able to provide 24-hour protection to people facing domestic violence, which is why the refuge is such an important place to take people.”

Cllr Frank Biederman, who seconded Cllr Greenslade’s motion, said the decision not to support the refuge would cost other public services money.

“When someone has just been through the worst trauma of their life, without a refuge all we will be really able to do is put them in a hotel room,” he said.

“They need professionally trained staff to support them and signpost them to the right services.

“For the people I’ve spoken to the refuge has been turning point – the start of the rest of their lives.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 19:59

Annual festival of all things wheeled returns to Braunton Recreation Ground this Sunday (July 30)

Read more
Yesterday, 16:42

Support service The Heart Centre is closing this week and urgently needs help to try and keep it going

Read more
Yesterday, 14:17

You can enjoy a trip on MV Balmoral from Bideford and Ilfracombe this summer

Read more
Yesterday, 13:49

Two planning applications have been lodged with Torridge District Council for new housing developments in Bideford.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:41

Nine members of the same Barnstaple family have cut off their hair for charity.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:01

Maurice Corry MSP was given a tour of Brynsworthy Environment Centre after seeing one of North Devon’s Council’s ‘impressive’ recycling trucks while on holiday.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:39

There is currently heavy traffic on the A388 near Langtree after a collision this morning (Thursday).

Read more
Wed, 18:12

Route 39 principal Jordan Kelly says ‘inadequate’ Ofsted report was overshadowed by one decision made over GCSE exams, as free school had lodges complaint about ‘aggresive’ inspectors.

Read more
Wed, 14:28

Be Our Guest and enter an amazing competition for the chance to win hundreds of pounds of tickets to see shows at The Queens Theatre in Barnstaple

Read more
Wed, 09:21

Wanderlust Life, started by Croyde’s Georgie Roberts, has opened a brand new shop in Ilfracombe.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications