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

59 minutes ago

North Devon gets three out of the seven South West Coastal Community initiatives announced today (Friday)

Read more

Developers have withdrawn controversial plans for 199 new homes in Northam after hundreds of objections were raised.

Read more
12:15

Revised plans for the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon extension will blend in better

Read more

The Plough Arts Centre in Torrington has launched a crowdfunding campaign for new lights, a lift and a disabled toilet.

Read more
10:01

The Rotary StarTrek challenge marks its 25th anniversary in March – would you like to be part of it?

Read more
13:13

A giant banner was draped over the River Taw at midday today (Friday) as part of a nationwide protest

Read more
11:07

No injuries following the A39 crash near Parracombe on Thursday afternoon, police have said

Read more
10:35

Today (Friday) at midday protesters will be draping a large banner from Barnstaple’s new bridge for the Bridges Not Walls campaign

Read more
Yesterday, 17:24

What do you do if you find a stranded seal? As two are released at Combe Martin after staying at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, the RSPCA offers advice to anyone who finds a stranded seal

Read more
Yesterday, 17:02

Peter Heaton-Jones was debating fair funding for Devon alongside the county’s MPs in Westminster Hall yesterday (Wednesday)

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 5°C

min temp: -1°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

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications