Havering charity helping domestic abuse victims gets funding for ‘life changing’ support

PUBLISHED: 12:21 30 July 2020

Havering Women's Aid has received extra funding. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA

Havering Women's Aid has received extra funding. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA

PA Archive/PA Images

A charity that supports domestic abuse victims has been awarded funding to help it offer further support.

Havering Women’s Aid is getting £127,500 from City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder which provides grants to good causes across the capital.

The money, which will help the charity over a five-year period, is going towards a specialist domestic abuse adviser who will offer one-on-one practical and emotional support to help young women escape abuse.

Among the ways this will be done is through helping to recognise controlling behaviour and dealing with issues at school or college, housing and benefits as well as reporting abuse to the police.

Vicki Thomas, the charity’s chief executive, said: “We often see people come through our doors with no confidence or self-esteem, and being able to tackle the issues they face with the adviser so they will no longer feel alone makes such a difference – it’s life changing.

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“Young people don’t have the same needs as adults and this grant will make a huge 
difference in helping us to keep them safe and give them the confidence to make their own decisions and to develop healthy relationships.”

The charity runs two refuges in the borough and offers daily, drop-in advice sessions.

A corporation spokesperson said the charity had seen an increase in the referral of girls in relationships with criminal gang members, who often come from outside Havering.

Dhruv Patel, chairman of the City Bridge Trust Committee, said: “It’s shocking to hear of ever more cases of young girls trapped in controlling and abusive relationships with gang members who attempt to manipulate, exploit and control them and cajole them into criminal activity such as hiding weapons.

“This funding will enable Havering Women’s Aid to provide dedicated support to these vulnerable young people at a time when it’s needed most, as the charity has seen its already mounting workload increase further during the lockdown.”

For more information on the services the charity provides, go to

It runs helplines for women on 01708 728759 and for male victims of domestic abuse on 01708 397974.

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