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Change of service provider for domestic abuse victims in the Staffordshire Moorlands

By MIG: Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: April 21, 2013

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VICTIMS of domestic abuse in the Staffordshire Moorlands will now be under the guidance of another organisation after Staffordshire Women’s Aid lost the contract for the service.

Staffordshire Women’s Aid, a registered charity providing refuge accommodation and outreach support, has been in operation since 1976, beginning in Stafford and expanding through Cannock, South Staffordshire.

During the past five years it has established a community outreach service and worked in partnership with Staffordshire County Council to develop a purpose-built refuge in the Staffordshire Moorlands three years ago.

The refuge accommodates 11 families all who have fled from domestic violence.

Alongside the refuge, the team have supported women and children through rural outreach provision.

As from the end of March, Staffordshire Women’s Aid no longer provides these services in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

The service was part of a commissioning process by Staffordshire County Council, which put the contract out to tender, and after Staffordshire Women's Aid was unsuccessful in its bid, Arch has taken over the running of the refuge accommodation and outreach service.

Arch’s Head of Domestic Violence Services, Wendy Wainwright, said: “We are really pleased to have been awarded the contract to provide services in Staffordshire Moorlands, providing safe accommodation, support to help victims/survivors and their children to remain in their own homes, education and awareness-raising in schools, court-based guidance and advocacy, and specialist support for children and young people.

“Arch has provided domestic violence services for over 20 years and currently works across three local authorities.

“We’re looking forward to building on the excellent work that has already taken place in the area, to continue to provide much needed support to victims/ survivors of domestic violence.”

Staffordshire Women’s Aid will continue to provide refuge and outreach support in Stafford, Cannock Chase and South Staffordshire.

It is hoped that its support for victims of sexual violence will be able to continue in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

Staffordshire Women’s Aid Chief Executive Dickie Chester-James said: “We would like to thank all of our supporters and partners in the Moorlands; we have built some good solid relationships throughout the time we have spent developing our services, and the support has been outstanding.

“We are extremely sad to be leaving our Domestic Abuse Services in the Moorlands; we have developed strong partnerships in the area over the last few years and would like to thank each and every one for being a part of this.

In particular we thank Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and Moorlands Housing, the Children’s Centres, Biddulph Community Centre – where we provided group support – and Cheadle and Leek Lions Clubs for such generous donations every year.

“The Women’s Institutes, Women Aglow, The Soroptomists, and various churches who have provided our refuge children with presents each year. With two women killed each week in the UK by domestic and sexual violence, and so many children living with its trauma and risks, it is vital that resources and services remain available for vulnerable families.”

Arch is a registered charity working with people in housing need, families needing support, victims and perpetrators of domestic violence and people wanting to return to work, education and training.

Arch is part of the Staffordshire Housing Group, which provides housing for rent and sale, along with development, regeneration, support and well-being services through Staffordshire Housing Association, Arch, Blue Mountain and Revival Home Improvement Agency.

Call 01782 222421 or visit www.staffshousing.org.uk for more information.

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