Funding boost for more properties
We have beenbeen given £100 000 to help us buy four 3-bed houses to function as safe houses for local women and families fleeing domestic violence.
We already manage more than 90 properties for a number of public and private landlords, all of which house women and children recovering from the trauma of domestic violence and abuse. Adding four more properties will give four more families the chance to rebuild their lives.
In recent years we’ve developed our Safe As Houses initiative, supporting and encouraging landlords and potential landlords to find properties that will act as safe houses for women and children in need. The landlords get a buy to let property that generates an income year on year, the families get safe, affordable accommodation and the Preston Road Centre receives income from managing the property. It’s an ethical investment, and a way of sustaining our future: it helps us not only to house women in crisis safely, but to generate income which supports our other services for women and girls. However we can always do more, and the funding from the DCLG is extremely welcome.”
One of the Preston Road Centre’s residents describes how it changed her life; “The Centre helped me to get a house, the house they put me in was the best I could wish for - and the children are doing really well at their school. My life was so bad; if it wasn’t for the Centre I wouldn’t be here now, and I don’t know where my kids would be. They supported me with a new life – I’m now in the best place in my life and the kids are the happiest they’ve ever been.”
The DCLG announced the Preston Road Women’s Centre award as part of an overall £3.5m investment in increasing the number of safe beds across the country. You can read more about the other funding awards on the Gov.Uk website at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/35-million-awarded-to-make-sure-domestic-abuse-victims-get-help
Communities Minister Baroness Williams said: “Domestic abuse is an appalling crime that shatters lives and this Government is determined to ensure that no victim is turned away from the support they need. This new funding will help Hull City Council and Preston Road Women’s Centre provide a strong safety net for anyone facing the threat of abuse in their own home.
“In the Spending Round we have also secured an additional £40m over the next four years – to make sure that victims can access support wherever they are from, anywhere in the country. We’ll set out how this money will be used for victims and areas that most need it with the publishing of the new Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy.”
The DCLG bids were coordinated through local councils, and the Preston Road Women’s Centre bid for funding was put together with support from Tracy Harsley of Hull City Council. Tracy is the City Manager, (Citysafe and Early Intervention), Children Young People and Family Services.
Lloyds Bank Foundation support our work
Lloyds Bank Foundation funding will help our services for women and children in violent situations
Celebrations are in order this week after we learned that we are being awarded a £75,000 grant by Lloyds Bank Foundation to fund vital support for women in the city.
The £75,000 grant from the Foundation will help fund a specialist domestic violence support and housing worker for three years, giving the Centre much-needed capacity.
“It’s a sad fact that in Hull an estimated 25,000 women and 19,000 children will experience domestic violence each year,” explains Centre Coordinator Ann Clarkson. “Taking the decision to leave a violent partner is fraught with difficulties, including the threat of escalating and more frequent violence. The difference we help women and children to achieve in their lives is to move from dangerous, damaging situations to safe, independent living which gives them a foundation to achieve their full potential.
“Having the money to recruit another woman to support this vital and empowering work is fantastic news and we are extremely grateful to Lloyds Bank Foundation for recognising the value of what we do. It means we can hopefully clear our waiting list and give these women and children a brighter future.
“Our service is open to any woman to refer herself into and we also accept referrals from a wide range of agencies including the Police and social services. Once referred, we talk to the woman about her needs and make a plan based on short, medium and long term outcomes. Planning will typically include how to leave the relationship safely, provision of safe housing and access to benefits and grants, accessing legal representation as necessary, settling families into new homes and schools, helping them to live independently and, longer term, encouraging women to attend accredited training courses to realise their potential.”
Paul Streets OBE, Chief Executive of Lloyds Bank Foundation said, “We are delighted to be able to support Preston Road Women’s Centre in their work not only to remove women from the immediate risk of domestic abuse but also to work with the community to prevent it from happening in the first place. The Foundation is committed to supporting charities working in the domestic abuse sector, having distributed £2.1m to 50 charities in the last two years alone. We know the sector is under huge strain despite increasing demand due to reduced government funding so needs all the help it can get.”
Celebrating a great year
Celebrating the work of volunteers in an incredible year
We have been celebratingour volunteers and our successes at a special thank you event for our annual general meeting last week.
Ann Clarkson, our Centre Co-ordinator said "None of our services are possible without our amazing volunteers. “Many of them have been through difficult times themselves, so they have a real empathy with the people using the centre. They keep the show on the road and work so hard to help others who are often scared, and are at their lowest ebb emotionally and physically. We always use the AGM to say thank you to them and publicly recognise them for the stars that they are”.
The Centre also presented a commemorative vase to Councillor Mary Glew in recognition for her support as one of her official charities during her office as Mayor. Cllr Glew was delighted; “This is a very special charity - I have supported their work for many years as I believe in the enormous difference they make to the lives of local women. The volunteers are incredible, selfless women and I applaud every one of them.”
As part of the celebrations, Treasurer Lisa Hilder shared some of the Centre’s highlights of the past year, which included a £300,000 award for their volunteering project, and a £120,000 grant from BBC Children In Need to fund a three-year project aimed at helping girls and young women who are experiencing domestic violence.
Humber Business Week event – 3 June
The next venture for the Centre is an event as part of Humber Business Week, to showcase their ethical property investment model. Lisa explains: “In recent years we’ve developed our own investment arm, supporting and encouraging landlords and potential landlords to find properties that will act as safe houses for women and children in need. The landlords get a buy to let property that generates an income year on year, the families get safe, affordable accommodation and the Preston Road Centre receives income from managing the property. We now have 90 properties, which is fantastic. It’s an ethical investment which generates a good return, and helps us not only to house women in crisis safely, but to generate income which supports the rest of our services for women and girls.”
You can find out more about the work of the Preston Road Women’s Centre at www.purplehouse.co.uk
International Fashion Show
Our volunteers are looking good for a good cause!
On Saturday October 3rd 2015, our volunteers took part in a great international fashion show at the City Hall in Hull, celebrating cultural diversity and enjoying a good time.
Looking like the 60s version of the spice girls and demonstrating that clothes can break down cultural barriers, the women's centre was well represented and flew the flag for women everywhere
Local Firm makes us their charity of the year
Hull-based electrical engineering firm Kirkby Lindsey has chosen the Preston Road Women’s Centre as their charity of the year.
Kirkby Lindsey is well known across Humberside as an electrical motor specialist. Company director,Jackie Kirkby explains why the firm has chosen to support the Preston Road Centre; “Domestic abuse blights the lives of women and children. Through the Hull Soroptimists I have experienced working with the Purple House and I have seen that whatever you give this wonderful organisation not a penny is wasted. All our staff are passionate about dealing locally so they wanted their efforts to help the women and children of Hull - and who could resist a partnership with the title of ‘Winner’? It is optimistic, aims to improve lives, is innovative and every woman who crosses the threshold is a winner; she has taken a positive step forward to safety, to take control and leave the violence behind. We believe everyone in our city deserves to have a safeand secure home.”
Centre Coordinator Ann Clarkson is delighted with the news; “It’s great to know that we have supporters like Kirkby Lindsey, who recognise the importance of helping women and families that are struggling in difficult situations and who are helping us to empower local women and girls to realise their potential. Financially their support is helpful, of course, but it’s also a boost knowing that they will be spreading the word about the work we do and what we stand for.”
Jackie knows that, as well as financial support, giving women and children a positive experience is tremendously beneficial and that giving time can be as valuable as giving money; “Allowing time away from the stresses of life helps to heal emotional wounds and we have some plans in the pipeline to support the women and families who use the Purple House, including a day trip away. Jo Thorsby of the Mermaid Boutique in South Cave is also planning to support us with a fashion experience later in the year and a member of our staff has offered unpaid office training for a few hours a month to women registered with Purple House wanting to return to work. One thing is certain: we shall do our best to be a good friend to Winner.”