Ipswich-based Lighthouse Women’s Aid is awarded more than £415,000 lottery funding to continue offering services for three years
- Credit: Gregg Brown
An Ipswich-based organisation providing support to women and children who have experienced domestic abuse has received a welcome funding boost which will allow it to continue offering vital services.
Officials from Lighthouse Women’s Aid welcomed an announcement made today that the group will be awarded more than £415,000 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme.
Lighthouse provides a range of services including emotional support, legal surgeries, debt advice and counselling.
Its current funding was due to come to an end this month but the lottery money will see it continue offering its services for a further three years.
Sally Winston, Lighthouse’s chief executive, said: “It (the funding) is absolutely fantastic. It is almost becoming an essential service in Ipswich.
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“We have supported about 600 women in the last year and if the doors were to suddenly close it would be awful.
“We feel it makes a huge difference just having somewhere for women to go.”
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“It will enable us to provide skilled, experienced staff to provide advice and guidance and the various programmes we offer,” she added.
Lighthouse, which has operated for nearly 40 years, provides a one-stop shop for advice and information, while also giving women the opportunity to develop new skills and to come together in a safe environment.
The organisation is also looking to offer more to young people.
Among the areas it wants to develop is working with children in schools, with one in particular aimed at making youngsters aware of what a healthy relationship is.
They are also keen to run more services from their centre.
Mrs Winston added: “I think they (users of the service) will be absolutely delighted. It is a lifeline for some women.
“We have some women who are walking in in crisis. It is somewhere for them to go and get immediate support.”
For help and support, you can call the 24-hour helpline on 01473 745 111.