Warwickshire County Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire (OPCC), are pleased to announce that the two contracts to help and protect victims of domestic violence and abuse in the region have been won by Refuge.
The two contracts are for community-based support – which includes provision of the Warwickshire helpline, specialist one-to-one and outreach support; and refuge accommodation. Refuge – one of the largest providers of domestic violence and abuse support services nationally – already runs the accomodation service in Warwickshire, while the community based support service is currently run by Stonham.
The contracts for these services are due to end on 31 March 2017 so the County Council has undertaken a review and re-tendering of the services with its partners including the OPCC, police, housing and health.
From the 1 April 2017, Refuge will deliver a combined community-based support and accommodation service in Warwickshire offering:
- 24 units of accommodation in locations across Warwickshire and associated support for females aged 16 and over and their dependent children, including provision of a children’s worker.
- A single point of contact and specialist helpline.
- Outreach support, specialist advocacy for high risk victims and specialist support for male, BME and LGBT victims.
- Support to Warwickshire’s GP practices under the Identification and Referral to Improve Safety (IRIS) programme.
- Management of the Sanctuary Scheme.
- Coordination of Warwickshire’s Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC) and support to the Warwickshire Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
Between now and the 1 April 2017, the County Council will be working with Stonham and Refuge to ensure a smooth handover of the community-based service elements.
Until the 1 April 2017, those affected by domestic violence and abuse should continue to seek help and support from Stonham and Refuge in the usual way as follows:
- Stonham: main helpline 0800 408 1552;
- Refuge: 01788 571589; our of hours 07584 233473
Please visit www.talk2someone.org.uk for more information about Warwickshire’s domestic violence and abuse service provision.
Councillor John Horner, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said: “Domestic violence and abuse affects over 9,000 males and females in Warwickshire. Support and accommodation for victims is vital and a key objective within our strategy to end violence and protect people from harm. We are pleased that from 1 April 2017 those affected by domestic violence and abuse in the county will have an enhanced service offer through a combined service delivered by Refuge. A single point of contact will bring huge advantages, providing victims with a clear route to getting the advice and help they need. We are pleased Refuge have been successful in winning the tender process and we look forward to working with them on the new approach.”
Philip Seccombe, Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire said: “My Police and Crime Plan has key objectives of putting victims and survivors first and protecting people from harm, so ensuring that services offering help, support and protection for victims and survivors of domestic violence and domestic abuse are in place across the county is absolutely vital. My office has worked closely with Warwickshire County Council to co-commission these services and the award to Refuge marks another exciting step forward in providing a safer, more secure Warwickshire. Refuge is an organisation with a vast wealth of experience in working with victims and survivors and has achieved a high reputation nationally, so I am delighted we will be able to work with them on a wider basis here in Warwickshire.”
Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, said: “Refuge is delighted to announce that it will continue to provide refuge accommodation in Warwickshire. In addition, Refuge will now be the single point of contact for all domestic violence victims – and professionals in need of information – across the county. Anyone experiencing domestic abuse in Warwickshire – regardless of their race, gender or sexuality – can now access specialist support from Refuge’s experts. Refuge looks forward to working in partnership with Warwickshire County Council; together we will save lives.”