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Issue 1, 2009

Lancaster and d i A s ' n e m o W t c i Distr Welcome to our first newsletter!

Inside this issue: A day in the life of...


say hello wave goodbye


Our successful AGM


Awareness training


Our new coordinator


A survivors story


With thanks


Welcome to our very first newsletter. We aim to promote our work and the achievements through this newsletter which will be issued 4 times a year. We launched our new logo and leaflets in August 2008 and as part of our new look plan, we aim to develop our links within the community. This newsletter will be just one way we hope we can raise awareness of our work and the issues faced by families in the area who daily suffer the effects of this often ‘hidden crime’. Through years of tireless campaigning and hard work, Women's Aid have been at the forefront of campaigns to highlight the issues

faced by women and families. The past 8 years have shown significant changes in responses to domestic violence / abuse and the coordinated community response to domestic violence is growing. Lancaster and District is part of an accredited specialist domestic violence courts process, where support from the police, independent domestic violence advocates (run by LDWA) and a fast track court system , all highlight an improved response.

However, we still have more to do. Our funding has been cut dramatically yet the need for our service is at its highest! By reading and promoting this newsletter , you can also help to raise awareness of our services.

LDWA work closely with all statutory and voluntary Domestic Violence and Abuse is services to make sure often ‘hidden’. LDWA aim to supfamilies gain a supportive port and empower families devand empowering service. astated by its effects

Launching our new free phone number—0800 612 1507 LDWA have seen a significant increase in referrals to our helpline since July Maybe this is because of our new logo and new leaflets, or perhaps as a consequence of our awareness raising and strong partnership links. Because of this

we have now launched a new FREE HELPLINE number 0800 612 1507 This will put you through to our helpline (our helpline number 01524 383636 is also still available). Sadly due to lack of funding our helpline is under threat we are man-

aging to keep it open between 10am and 2pm weekdays. We hope that we can increase these hours in 2009 by recruiting new volunteers and raising funds towards a longer and more accessible helpline.

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Lancaster and District Women's Aid

A day in the life of an outreach worker….. I usually start my day in the office at 8.30. I catch up on the phone-calls or the paperwork, which seems to get bigger every week! I then start to visit the women and families across the District. My work involves lots of driving and seeing families where it is safe to do so. I also run drop ins with children’s centres which is invaluable for me to meet families in safety and have some time to chat and work though options. My workload is varied. Some days I meet clients who are new to the service and others who have been with us longer. sometimes I get a call from the helpline and we have to find

Domestic violence / abuse affects

Say hello, wave goodbye In 2008 we said goodbye to Antonia—who has worked so hard over the years in developing and sustaining LDWA. We wish her well in her new life Down Under! We also said goodbye to Lisa Hackett our outreach worker who moved onto pastures new. Kelly, our loyal volunteer support worker took time off to have a baby and we also said goodbye to Jan the chair of our

management committee. Thank you to all of them for their hard work and dedication ! Last but not least we also said goodbye to our coordinator Ruthanna, without whom so much work wouldn't have been achieved. Ruthanna is now working in a legal firm and is missed by us all at LDWA. We also welcome; Shelan, our new coordinator (see more on page 3), Jo our tenancy support worker for Wyre and Fylde and Slawka our tenancy support worker for Lancaster and District.

a refuge space for a woman and children in an emergency. This is really difficult as it involves trying to find a space in the limited amount of refuges across the country. We use an online tool called refuges online but it still takes a considerable amount of time. We then have to find money for travel or often we take the family to the refuge ourselves. Days like that often end very late at night! I enjoy my role very much and despite the hard work it is the most rewarding and enjoyable job.

We welcome new faces on our management committee who are a welcome addition and all a breath of fresh air. If anyone is interested in joining our management team and volunteers please contact us! Everyone has joined in wholeheartedly and settled down well and we look forward to developing our new skills within LDWA.

Our AGM—August 2008 Our AGM at the Greg son on 28th August was hugely successful. We had speakers and visitors from a range of agencies who spoke and supported our work. Sheelagh from strategic housing gave an excellent introduction to the City councils sanctuary scheme (more about that in the next issue). After some great food we then listened to our range of speakers, Sylvia walby spoke knowledgeably about her ongoing

work around the costs and research of domestic violence, DCI Brian Quinn from Lancashire constabulary and Peter Loker from City Council both voiced their support to LDWA and the work within the district. County Councilor Niki Penney gave an excellent speech on her support for the families in Lancaster district and her memories of how far women's aid has come in 30 years. We heard from past coordina-

tor Ruthanna and newly appointed coordinator Shelan. Finally our compere, Nina George , the county Dv strategic coordinator, thanked everyone and gave her support for the future of LDWA. This was an amazing meeting for LDWA and showed that we have firm support from partners, Thank you to everyone who attended.

Issue 1, 2009

Page 3

Awareness training LDWA offer a range of training packages to suit your agency or community group. These courses are successful because of the experiential and interactive style of the sessions.

violence and abuse training and would be prepared to offer LDWA training in response to us delivering training to you? We can help!

We can also offer awareness sessions on: MARACS (multi agency risk assessment conferences) Why does she stay? Risk assessment and safety planning

Perhaps your staff would like a 2 hour session as part of their team meeting?

Power and control Interventions for survivors

Perhaps your community group would like to raise funds for LDWA and need a speaker to develop the awareness and publicity ?

Effects on children / young people

Perhaps your agency needs domestic

Our new coordinator HI, my name is Shelan and I am the new coordinator for Lancaster District women's aid. I am so proud to have been appoint ed to this role as I have a strong passion for DV services. My background has been in the voluntary sector in Blackpool for over 15 years when I worked as a ‘buddy’ and awareness trainer for people affected by HIV/ Aids. I worked in education for some time after that and then trained to be a counsellor. my first placement with Lancashire constabulary domestic violence unit

was the first of its kind and very successful. I then worked for a local women's aid refuge as an outreach worker and training development officer. Eventually I set up a counselling service and then joined a local substance misuse charity as an alcohol project worker and brief interventions trainer. Soon Lancaster beckoned me away from the hustle of Blackpool and I worked for the City council as the temporary domestic violence strategy coordinator. I enjoyed my work and developing the links needed in Lancaster. I felt so lost without my Black-

pool ‘toolkit’ of knowledge! And now here I am, back with women's aid and enjoying every hectic minute! The team are fantastic and the work is hard but heartfelt. I look forward to spending a long time with LDWA !

A survivors story I phoned the helpline about 6 months ago as I wasn't sure where to turn. I knew that my husband was becoming increasingly controlling and I couldn't go anywhere without him texting me or wanting me home within a certain time. My children were scared of his moods—it was like walking on eggshells. I was so scared because it wasn't always bad, he was so lovely at times, I wanted our life to be stable

and happy. I didn't even know that what I was experiencing was ‘domestic violence’, I didn't see myself as a ‘battered woman’, I had a job, a nice house, so why was I scared? when I rang the helpline, the workers were so kind and gave me time to talk through my worries and questions. I rang a few times before I had the courage to meet the outreach worker. She really helped and was so calm. Things are still

ongoing but at least I have the support at LDWA to get us through it. Thank you.

Caption describing

t Lancaster and Distric Women's Aid PO BOX 669 Lancaster LA1\2ZP Phone: 01524 389637 Fax: 01524 39962 E-mail:

Lancaster and District Wo men's Aid are a charity aimed at supporting and empowering women and families to rec over from controlling, abusive and violent relations hips. We have the following services: Outreach and tenancy sup port Tenancy support in Wyre and Fylde Counselling Advocacy services for hig h risk families Helpline Awareness / training sessio ns Volunteer opportunities Housing advice / legal sup port /

We’re on the web!

With thanks…….. LDWA couldn't continue to support the families in need without support from the following: Lancaster City Council, DISC Poulton Children's centre Balmoral and Westgate children's centre Lancashire County Council Lancaster community safety partnership Lancashire constabulary Francis C Scott Children's integrated services Strategic housing Lancaster District Strategic Partnership

Our recent Christmas campaign resulted in an overwhelming response: Bay Radio donated wonderful present s from their Christmas campaign, we were overwhelmed by the generosity from the community.

Many staff at local schools and business’s had the wonderful idea of not sending each other cards / presents and donated the money to LDWA. We would especially like to thank the staff at Blackhurst Swainson Goodier solicitors for their amazing generosity and continued support. Because of the amazing generosity of so many

we were able to deliver fantastic gifts to families who would otherwise have been unable to afford presents. We were able to deliver gifts to every single family we work with, and every family were sincerely grateful.

Thank you to everyone who donated so kindly this year.


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