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New service to support people fleeing domestic abuse in Norfolk

27 July 2020

Norfolk County Council has allocated an additional £200,000 to support people fleeing domestic abuse in Norfolk access temporary accommodation.

The Council has commissioned the independent charity Leeway to provide the additional capacity over 12 months, starting from today (Monday 27 July) and running through to 30 June 2021, to cover a recovery period post pandemic. This funding will see 3 additional posts created, as well as suitable temporary accommodation purchased and basic food and toiletry provision for service users.

Cllr Bill Borrett, Norfolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, said: “While recent coverage of Public Health has been focusing on COVID-19, we cannot afford to lose sight of the hideous and destructive impact of domestic abuse. We don’t want any one affected by domestic abuse to have to wait or struggle to get support, and this service delivered by Leeway, will help make sure they get the support they need to rebuild their lives.”

Leeway, an independent charity first formed by a group of volunteers supported by Norwich City Council in 1974, provides support to adults, young people and children who are experiencing domestic abuse in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Mandy Proctor, Chief Executive of Leeway, said: “We are delighted to have received this funding from Norfolk County Council which will enable us to provide temporary accommodation for women and men experiencing domestic abuse in Norfolk. This important service will help people to flee an abusive relationship and on to the next steps towards a new life free from abuse.”

The service will work with the service user to identify the right kind of accommodation for their circumstances, tailoring the support to individual needs. The service will be available to both women and men throughout the county, with or without dependent children, and provide access to suitable temporary accommodation.

This service is designed to support people fleeing domestic abuse into temporary accommodation, when refuge provision is full or not suitable for a service user. Leeway will build on existing relationships with district and borough councils to identify vacant local authority properties that may be used, before exploring other options where necessary.

Anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse or who has recently left an abusive relationship can call the National Helpline, open 24 hours a day, for support and advice. Women can call 0808 2000 247, while men Men’s Advice Line is available on 0808 801 0327.

Leeway’s advice and support service can be accessed by telephone on 0300 561 0077, or by emailing adviceandsupport@leewaynwa.org.uk.

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