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Surrey builds more refuge accommodation

Published: 30 June 2020

More refuge for families escaping domestic abuse

Surrey County Council and partners have worked to provide more emergency refuge accommodation for families escaping domestic abuse. National demand for domestic abuse support has increased during the lockdown as people have been more isolated and less able to leave their houses for help. The Council worked alongside partners Reigate and Banstead Women's Aid and Your Sanctuary, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and the Community Foundation for Surrey.

The building provides space for seven families, with the scope to increase this up to eighteen families in the future.
Leader of Surrey County Council, Tim Oliver said: "No family should have to endure the effects of domestic abuse at any time, which is why it is so important that families have the security of these refuge spaces should they need them."

Fiamma Pather, Chief Executive of Your Sanctuary, said: "We are very proud that more women and their children will have safe and supportive accommodation in order to start rebuilding their lives after the abuse and violence they have experienced."

Charlotte Kneer, CEO of Reigate and Banstead Women's Aid said: "It's startling to think how much we have achieved in six weeks. From an initial idea to opening a new refuge, it really does show what can happen when partners pull together with a common goal."

Surrey County Council will maintain the property whilst funding from the OPCC will enable the provision of specialist support for survivors.

Anyone worried about or affected by domestic abuse in Surrey can contact the Your Sanctuary Domestic Abuse Helpline seven days a week from 9am - 9pm, on 01483 776822 or via Your Sanctuary online chat . Always dial 999 in an emergency.

An instrumental figure in the project has been Dave Hill CBE, Executive Director of Children, Lifelong Learning and Culture at Surrey County Council who very sadly passed away suddenly last week at the age of 61.

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