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

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.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

16:35

The Lord Lieutenant and rescue helicopter will be dropping in at the Rotary StarTrek Challenge next Saturday (March 4)

Read more
15:00

Police say 18 animals were taken some time in early to mid February

Read more
09:00

Police are seeking witnesses after a householder was stabbed in the chin following an altercation in Braunton

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

Barnstaple and Bideford family can say they have five generations following their latest arrival

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

New staff will arrive in North Devon this spring

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00

The braille board outlining Bideford’s shipping history means people with sight difficulties can enjoy heritage trails.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:42

Motorist is the victim of odd theft after his VW alloys were taken when his car broke down near Braunton

Read more
Fri, 18:27

Police believe the same man could be responsible for four alleged assaults in King Street, Combe Martin

Read more
Fri, 16:03

Three vehicles were involved in the collision on the A361 Link Road at the Lake Roundabout in Barnstaple.

Read more
Fri, 16:00

It’s Pancake Day on Tuesday, February 28, and we want to know what Devon’s favourite pancake topping is. Sweet, savoury or both? Decide in our poll here...

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 4°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