Southampton Women’s Refuge was the first project to be awarded funding from the Longleigh Foundation in July 2016.
The refuge was finding that there is an increasing need for support for women who have suffered, or are at risk of domestic abuse, and who require more intensive support to deal with a range of other issues, including mental health problems, drug and alcohol misuse, a history of self harm, and attempted suicides.
During a six- month pilot project we will support the refuge to re-model its service, so that it can better accommodate women with increasingly chaotic lifestyles, who are often excluded from standard refuge provision.
The service will employ two specialist support workers to facilitate a structured ‘Recovery Toolkit’ programme designed to break the cycle of domestic abuse and develop positive lifestyle coping strategies. This will be delivered alongside 1:1 support and specialist intervention by local statutory and voluntary services.
On successful completion of the programme, women are awarded a Level 1 certificate, and will be supported by specialist staff to find longer term accommodation, and to ensure they continue to receive the support they need – signposting to local services, on a personalised basis, once they leave the refuge. This continued support is fundamental to supporting women to gain independence.
The pilot funding will enable the refuge to test and develop the new programme, and attract future funders to a more sustainable delivery model.