New Soft Play Room for Domestic Abuse Refuge

On the 14 of February, North Dorset Domestic Abuse Refuge will be officially opening a soft play room for the under 5s. The Refuge, run by You First Dorset, part of The YOU Trust charity, has been provided with funds by Friends of North Dorset Refuge project to go ahead. All parties involved are thrilled to be able to provide such a fantastic provision for children whose parents are being supported by You First.

The Chair of Friends of North Dorset Refuge, Sara Jackson, stated: “The Friends of North Dorset Refuge are delighted to see the completion of a project they have been working on for some years – a soft play room for younger children. We have raised the funds for this room which is brightly coloured and full of shaped and sounds, discoveries to be made and fun to be had – what is not to like for a small child?

Older children have their own space in a different part of the building – now the smaller residents have theirs where they can be safe, play with others and always have Mum on hand to help with new challenges: climbing, carrying, building, naming colours and all the time learning without realising that there is a different way of living, free from fear.”

This brilliant addition will compliment the existing activity room – You First have a specialist worker who engages with all children as we know that safe play spaces are vital for all children as we know that safe play spaces are vital for all children to come to terms with their experience of living with domestic abuse.

Katie Bielec, Integrated Service Manager of You First Dorset, said: “This extra safe space for children under 5 will allow them to play, explore and be free. It is an essential part of their journey and we are incredibly grateful to the Friends of North Dorset Refuge and Sovereign who have worked closely with us to ensure this addition to the refuge occurred.”

Women and children at the refuge, and You First staff, want to extend their thanks to the Friend of North Dorset Refuge for the generous donation, and to the Sovereign Housing Association, for working with us to install the soft play equipment.

Christmas 2016

Christmas was as busy as ever at YOU this (last!) year. We had parties, we had feasts, there were gifts and Father Christmas himself even did the rounds.

Staff working in our domestic abuse and violence refuges went all out to keep the magic of Christmas alive for the children living there. Living in a refuge can be a strange and unnerving experience for young people, and refuge staff work alongside children’s’ parents to make sure they feel safe and as normal as possible. Christmas is a great opportunity to bring some familiarity into their lives, and a good excuse for a few parties! A special thanks to local charity Free Cakes for Kids who provided two fabulous cakes for the Christmas party in Basingstoke.

On the 22nd of December residents at Byways (supported living service for people with learning disabilities) were greeted with an early Christmas present – a new car! Bought with funds raised by fundraising group, Friends of Byways,  It will mean greater independence, more social opportunities, and generally provide more ease in being involved in the local community and daily living. Huge thanks to all involved.

Byways residents with their new car

We hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year break. Here’s to 2017 and all the good stuff to come!

Councillor visits Domestic Violence and Abuse Services

On October 3 2016 Councillor Terri Reid met with women, children and staff at a refuge in Hampshire which is run by You First, the domestic violence and abuse service of The YOU Trust working across West and North Hampshire.

People in the refuge are fleeing domestic violence and abuse, such as Jo – she has two children under 5 and was placed in the refuge by the police after the last violent incident at home. The police had been called a number of times, but Jo wanted to make her marriage work for the sake of the children.  Jo says the violence and control by her husband was getting worse and she was afraid he would kill her and hurt the children, so this time she came to the refuge.

Jo has been at refuge for 6 weeks and was worried when she first came here, what it would be like, what the other women would be like and how the children would settle. Jo says its been great, the other women are a good laugh and its good to have someone to talk to who understands. The children have made new friends and they get lots of help from the children’s workers. Jo feels really safe now and has started to think about her move on and where she may end up.  There is so much more to Jo’s story and moving into refuge was a positive step for her.

You First Hampshire support women, men and children who have experienced or who are experiencing domestic violence or abuse in their relationships. This can happen to anyone, regardless of age, social background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. Statistics indicate that 1 in 4 women, 1 in 6 men and 1 in 3 from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities will experience domestic violence and abuse at some point in their lifetime.

Funded by Hampshire County Council the service provides free and discreet support, advice and refuge to victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse. Last year You First worked with over 2,000 people who had experienced domestic violence and abuse in Hampshire and Councillor Terri Reid visited the refuge to understand the work first-hand through meeting workers and domestic violence and abuse survivors.

Commenting on Councillor Terri Reid’s visit, the Head of the Domestic Violence and Abuse Department, Tonia Redvers, stated: “It is brilliant that Terri came to visit the refuge, YOU is always very happy to welcome Councillors to the refuge to meet the people we work with and understand the issues they are facing. Refuge accommodation is vital for some people who are fleeing domestic violence – it offers a place of safety for both adults and children and gives them time to come to terms with what they have experienced. Refuge is more than a roof over their heads, it gives people the space to stop and think about their future and, when ready, we can keep working together when moving on into the community to live a life free of abuse.”

Since visiting the refuge Councillor Terri Reid has added: The Council is committed to preventing homelessness and supporting vulnerable people and I am delighted to be able to see again at first hand the vital specialist work being undertaken by the YOU Trust to support some of our most vulnerable residents. Domestic Abuse is a significant cause of homelessness; the fact that there is a range of alternative good quality options and support for victims and their families means they can receive a service most suited to their needs.”

 

If you are think you are experiencing domestic violence and abuse, please contact YOU First on 0330 016 5112. For emergency assistance, always dial 999 first.

MP Visits Domestic Violence and Abuse Services

On May 20 2016 MP Mims Davies met with women, children and workers at a refuge in Hampshire which is run by You First, the domestic violence and abuse service of The YOU Trust working across West and North Hampshire.

YOU First Hampshire support women, men and children who have experienced or who are experiencing psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional abuse in their relationships. Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of age, social background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. Statistics indicate that 1 in 4 women, 1 in 6 men and 1 in 3 from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities will experience domestic violence and abuse at some point in their lifetime.

Funded by Hampshire County Council the service provides free and discreet support, advice and refuge to victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse. Last year YOU First worked with over 1,200 people who had experienced domestic violence and abuse in the west of Hampshire and over 200 people came to refuge accommodation. YOU First work in partnership with Home Group who are the landlords of the refuges provided in West Hampshire and supply management support.

MP Mims Davies visited the refuge to understand the work first-hand through meeting workers and domestic violence and abuse survivors.

Commenting on MP Mims Davies visit, the Head of the Domestic Violence and Abuse Department, Tonia Redvers, stated: “It is brilliant that Mims came to visit the refuge, its really important that members of government understand the work we do at a local level. Refuge accommodation is vital for some people who are fleeing domestic violence – it offers a place of safety for both adults and children and gives them time to come to terms with what they have experienced. Refuge is more than crisis accommodation, it gives people the space to stop and think about their future and, when ready, we can keep working together when moving on into the community to live a life free of abuse.”

If you are think you are experiencing domestic violence and abuse, please contact YOU First on 0330 016 5112. For emergency assistance, always dial 999 first.