The charity, based in Newport, supports women with a history of domestic abuse or experiencing disadvantage through its weekly activities, group programmes and by helping them find a refuge. It also helps woman experiencing mental health and dependency difficulties.
The new 3-year grant from the Foundation will contribute to the core costs of the charity team, enabling it to keep open its WOW! Centre for women and their children every weekday from 10:00 to 16:00. Women can also access its events, workshops and get advice. The centre, mostly run by volunteers, supports up to 900 women of all ages. The new fund builds on previous Foundation grants worth £76,458 in total awarded to the charity over the last 9 years.
Figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales show over one-third of violent crimes recorded last financial year were flagged as being domestic abuse-related, and domestic abuse-related offences increased by 22% from the previous year to 732,444. Data obtained by the BBC also reveals the number of domestic violence killings has hit a 5-year high – 173 people died in domestic violence-related homicides last year.
Wight DASH Chief Executive Fiona Gwinnett said:
“We want to empower and inform women and are there for them every step of the way. We want to see women who are facing hardships and challenges not just survive but regain their self-esteem and confidence.
“The women reaching out to us for help need someone to listen and support them, not judge or tell them what to do. They want to understand what’s happening to them, be guided through their experience and have a voice.
“Every penny we receive counts and will help to make a life-changing impact. Because of this grant from Lloyds Bank Foundation, we will be able to continue to be a lifeline on the Isle of Wight for women fleeing an abusive partner or family member or still trapped in an abusive relationship.”
Paul Streets OBE, Chief Executive of Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, said:
“Small and local charities play a vital role in their communities, reaching and helping people facing complex social issues to overcome them and move forward with their lives.
“But with public funding getting tighter and tighter and demand for their services rising, such charities are more important than ever. That is why at Lloyds Bank Foundation we are delighted to award new funding to Wight DASH which will enable them to help more people affected by domestic abuse in the years to come.
“We are committed to supporting small and local charities working in communities across the country, funding their work, helping them become stronger and more sustainable and helping raise their voice with policy-makers.”