North Devon Against Domestic Abuse (NDADA) has been given Government funding to help provide refuge spaces and assist domestic abuse survivors at risk during the coronavirus pandemic.

Barnstaple-based NDADA has seen an increase in numbers seeking help this year and extra expenses as it works to keep women, children and families safe during the pandemic.

It has received £70,786 from an £8.1million Government fund to help more than 100 charities and of the eight South West charities to benefit, NDADA has received the largest grant.

It runs the only refuge in Devon for women and children fleeing domestic abuse.

Sue Wallis, NDADA chief executive, said: “The refuge is not commissioned and relies on the generous community of Northern Devon and various trust funders to maintain services.

“There has been a marked increase in referrals for all domestic abuse agencies in Devon including the refuge so the opportunity for additional funding at this time is helpful.”

North Devon MP Selaine Saxby said: “This funding for NDADA is very welcome, as I know what a vital role the organisation plays for women in North Devon and beyond who feel they have nowhere else to turn to when in an abusive relationship.

“Finding the courage to escape abuse is easier when you know there is someone there who can help, and there is a safe space you can escape to, and NDADA are that safety net who will support you.

“This funding from Government will go towards helping many more women across the south west, and I want to thank the whole team at NDADA for their hard work and dedication, particularly in this difficult time.

“I have also donated my May district council allowance to NDADA following my own speech for the second reading of the Domestic Abuse Bill.”