Thousands of women experiencing domestic abuse will be able to gain help and support from Refuge’s 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, thanks to a major grant from Bedfordshire Freemasons and other Provinces.
The 200,000 grant will support the Helpline, which is at the heart of a strategic, co-ordinated response to domestic abuse. The service is run by the charity Refuge, delivered by a team of specialist staff and trained volunteers.
Women experiencing domestic abuse, as well as friends, family and professionals supporting them can contact Refuge’s expert team on their free phone number, via their secure webform email and through their online live chat. Women who use British Sign Language can also receive support via video calls with qualified interpreters. The Helpline records over 13,000 calls and contacts on its database per month. Women can also find information and support on Refuges’ Helpline website www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.
The Refuge Helpline number runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The charity aims to reduce the harm caused by domestic abuse by providing callers with information about their rights and options, as well as supporting them to leave their abusers safely if and when they are ready.
The Helpline team provides a confidential and non-judgmental service, which supports women in both heterosexual and same sex relationships. They deliver emotional and practical help to women as they begin rebuilding their lives following abuse.
Bedfordshire Freemasons contributed to the grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Lucy Snow, Senior Transformation Manager at Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline, said:
“We’re very grateful to the Freemasons for their generous grant, which is needed now more than ever.
“Our message to women across the country is clear. You are not alone. We will listen, we will believe you, and we can support you to plan your next steps. We are here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
Bedfordshire Freemasons Provincial Grand Master, Tony Henderson, said:
“Charity is one of the core values of Freemasonry. Being able to support Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which does a hugely important job in being there for the one in four women who experience domestic abuse, is very important to us”
“Whether it’s providing practical information or emotional support, the Helpline is a lifeline for many thousands of women every year and I’m very proud that Freemasons are supporting this essential service.”