For women who experience domestic abuse along with using alcohol or drugs as a coping mechanism, finding crisis accommodation to enable them to escape the domestic abuse is extremely difficult.  We are delighted that we are now able to offer the combined specialist domestic abuse support and substance misuse support in our specialist Recovery Refuge.  We are proud that this helps to build a more equal society for women where everyone has a safe roof over their head regardless of their circumstances.

It can be difficult adjusting to life in a new environment. But other women in the refuge understand what you have been through, and support staff are on hand to help you settle in and give you the support you need to start thinking about your future.

What happens when I first arrive?

Often women arrive at the refuges with very few possessions or nothing at all.  We will provide you with a food pack, toiletries ,and towels, and all our rooms are dressed with new quilts, duvet covers and pillows.  Our support staff will help you settle in and make sure that you have everything you and your children need for your first night with us.

On arrival we you will be introduced to your support worker who is there to help you settle in, provide you a tour of the accommodation, fire exits and procedure, and show you the communal lounge areas and laundry facilities.

You will also be asked to sign a licence agreement and house rules so your allocated worker can make an application for Housing Benefit (if you are eligible).

Once you have settled in they can also support you with a range of other practical issues, such as registering with a local doctor, dentist, housing advice, how to apply for your correct entitlement to benefits, contacting solicitors, and dealing with immigration issues. so that you can live independently.

Do I have to pay anything?

Most women who stay in our refuges are able to claim Housing Benefit, which covers the cost of the weekly rent charge for the duration of your stay with us.  There may be some specific reasons why you would not be able to claim housing benefit, such as if you are currently working and aim to continue working, or your immigration status, but our support worker will go through this with you as part of the referral process.

You will be required to contribute to a personal charge of £5.30 per week.  This money is for heating, lighting and amenities and you cannot get housing benefit to cover these costs.

A weekly deposit of £10.00 is payable.  Your deposit will be returned to you after your fob is returned and housekeeping have serviced the room for re-let.  The deposit is also there to cover any damage or breakages (other than accidental) or any additional cleaning costs at the end of your stay.  These will always be discussed with you.

What can I do with my car?

We offer off road car parking facilities at our refuge accommodation sites.

Is there any other support for me? 

Support staff are also there to support you emotionally.  They understand what you have been through and will help you to make sense of what is going on.  They will listen with a non- judgemental approach and are not there to tell you what to do.  They want you to have the time and space to make your own decisions.

Your allocated worker will meet you at least weekly to make sure you are receiving the support you need.  You can discuss any concerns or worries you may have with her.  Whilst it is up to you to choose how much support we give you, it is important to remember that your place in the refuge is because of the trauma you have experienced which means that the support sessions are a required part of your stay with us.  However, we are only there to guide and empower you, the process is ‘owned’ and led by you.

We are working in partnership with Open Road, who provide a Substance Misuse Specialist Worker to work with you and support your recovery from substance misuse.  The places in our Recovery Refuge are for women who have a desire and willingness to change and recovery from their substance misuse.  We really want to work with you for you to reclaim your future and this means that it will be a requirement of your stay in the refuge that you engage with the support provided and attend all support sessions and group sessions as outlined in your recovery plan.

Access to refuge accommodation is granted between the hours of 7.00am – 11pm daily.  Alongside the weekday support, we provide an Evening Support Worker 5 pm – 10 pm every-day, Weekend Support Workers and Overnight Sleep-In Workers so you are never alone.

What should I bring?

If you are able to plan your leaving date, then the following list is a really good, practical start for the things that will make moving into a refuge a bit easier for you and your children.  However, the most important thing is that you leave safely, so if you don't have access to the documents, or can't pack in advance then don't worry - just leave safely, wearing and bringing whatever you can, we can sort all the rest of it out when you get to us...

Identification: passports, birth certificates, driving licence wherever possible

National insurance number

Money, Bank Cards etc

Benefits entitlements letters

Car documents 

Clothes

Medication/prescriptions 

Toiletries