A Harrogate-based charity which provides essential support to women who have escaped abusive relationships is marking its fifth birthday with a pledge to raise £5,000.
The New Beginnings Peer Support group will be marking the special occasion with a party at Palm Court, Windsor House next month as it looks to raise awareness, as well as funding, for those in need.
Run by CEO and founder, Lindsay Oliver, the charity was set up to fill the growing post-crisis support gap for women and children who have been forced to flee from domestic abuse.
The very first peer support group meeting was held in February 2019 and since then hundreds of women and children from across the Harrogate district, Craven and Selby have benefitted from the invaluable advice and services provided by the charity.
Having experienced first-hand how difficult life can be in the aftermath of escaping an abusive relationship, Lindsay has put her own experiences to good use and has grown the charity into a service that gives hope and belief of a better life to so many.
Among the services provided are: one-to-one and group support, advice on education, training and employment, the supply of family activity packs, the organisation of family activity days and the donation of toys and vital living items and utensils.
Various other practical support sessions are also held, while women also have the opportunity to take part in the Own My Life 12-week course designed to help women who have been subjected to abuse to regain ownership of their lives.
Lindsay, who escaped an abusive relationship with her young son in June 2018, believes the charity plays a crucial role in giving women back the confidence to go out and continue their lives without fear.
“Domestic abuse affects all genders, all ages, from all backgrounds regardless of their economic status.“The impact can last a lifetime, and this is particularly true for those who are then ordered by the courts to have contact with their abuser due to child access.“As a small charity, raising funds is vital for us to be able to deliver our services and to also expand our capacity as the number of referrals, and the growing complexity of those referrals due to the impact of covid and the cost-of-living crisis, continue to rise.”
“New Beginnings Peer Support is aiming to raise £5,000 in our fifth year to pay for an increase in our peer support hours, to enable our team to reach more women in need and to support them and their children to improve their health and wellbeing.“We want to provide them with the tools to build a solid foundation from which they can start to build their lives again.“Fleeing domestic abuse is only the beginning. We support women who are no longer with their abuser, but who continue to experience a detrimental impact to their lives.“We really appreciate any support that the community can provide, raising this target will make a huge difference to the women and children who feel they are alone and still experiencing negative outcomes from their abusive relationship that they left years ago.”
The fundraising target of £5,000 amounts to an extra day per week of peer support for a whole year.