We have friendly, non-judgemental staff, based in our refuge accommodation houses, who are experienced in giving information and assistance over the telephone to women, third party advocates and professionals working with women who are experiencing or have experienced abuse and are in crisis.
Our staff are available to give information regarding BWA services, options for what steps to take in crisis situations, safety planning, options for practical, legal and risk reducing measures and provision of information on other specialist services across the district and beyond.
Refuge Accommodation Provision
Our refuge accommodation is accessible to women with or without children who need a safe and confidential place to stay. Staff provide a range of support to women and children who have experienced domestic abuse. For more information on how we deliver this support click here.
Our refuges have staff on site Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. Outside of these hours' clients can contact staff in case of emergencies (e.g. in relation to housing management, health and safety, safeguarding or high risk personal safety issues.)
Referrals for refuge accommodation can be made during office hours via our public telephone numbers and outside of normal office hours via our answerphone directing referrals to our local authority Homeless and Housing provision or the Women's Aid helpline.
Our Refuges offer temporary accommodation up to a maximum of 2 years (in exceptional circumstances). Our aim is to empower our clients, to help them take control of their lives and move on to independent living as soon as is practical, possible and safe to do so, depending on individual support needs and risks.
The service provides comprehensive housing management and support services for women and their children. We work with clients to promote and encourage client involvement in the services they receive and provide a range of services to meet individual needs including one-to-one support, group sessions / group work, house meetings, client consultation and feedback.
We have specialist support staff on site for children and young people and provide a range of one-to-one, group, family support sessions, play sessions, therapeutic group work, trips and outings, parenting and educational support, advocacy and multi-agency support.
We are able to accommodate clients with generic and complex needs based on initial referral, needs and risk assessment. We also have specialist units of refuge accommodation for BAME clients, those with limited mobility, sensory impairment, assistance dogs and clients who require care either from a personal carer, or where paid care is required.
All refuges are fully furnished, ready for occupation and have a minimum of one communal lounge, laundry, staff office, playroom and outdoor garden / play equipment. There is a mixture of communal and self-contained accommodation across 4 refuge buildings.
Clients are expected to pay rent (either from earned income / savings / claim for housing benefit), however where clients have no recourse to public funds it is expected that funding via DDV concession or payment from local authority / immigration and asylum units will be in place.
In addition, clients are expected to pay a weekly personal service charge out of their own income which covers charges for heat, light, water, television licence etc.