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Funding boost for domestic abuse hubs

PICTURED: Ruth Dixon (Steve Morgan Foundation projects manager), Jane Harris (director of regional grants); and trustee Ashley Lewis

TWO domestic abuse centres are helping hundreds of people across Wirral, after receiving funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The new Lighthouse Centre is part of the Involve NorthWest charity, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

The service is the only one in Wirral that tackles domestic abuse from the family perspective.

It’s all been made possible thanks to £249,530 in Community Match Challenge (CMC) funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

Wirral Council has co-located its early help domestic abuse team into the charity’s premises in Royal Standard House, Birkenhead, to work alongside Involve’s Lighthouse Centre, which also has the children’s Leapfrog programme and the Domestic Abuse Peer Mentoring scheme.

Domestic abuse manager Keri Lockhart-Thomson said the centre’s name reflects its approach to tackling domestic abuse.

“A lighthouse doesn’t go into the storm to rescue ships but rather guides them to safety,” she said. “If we shine the light brightly and meet people where they are at on their own journey, the decisions that people make are more sustainable.

“We are person-centred in our approach and are here to provide a safe space. No one will be judged or told what to do.”

Keri added: “There simply wouldn’t be a Lighthouse Centre without the Steve Morgan Foundation and the DCMS funding.

“Reports of domestic violence have soared during the pandemic so there’s never been a more urgent need for the Lighthouse Centre than now.”

The Lighthouse Centre will offer a drop-in facility and is open Monday-Friday between 8.30am-4pm.

The centre will also offer ‘My Time’ for people to form their own support networks within the community. Thursday night’s ‘My Time’ is for women who work and will run 5pm-7pm every week.

THE Paul Lavelle Foundation  is also doing so much to help male victims of domestic abuse.

Set up in 2017 in memory of 50-year-old Paul Lavelle, from Rock Ferry, the charity has received 65 referrals during the past year.

Charity manager Sharne Williams had been friends with Paul for 14 years before his death and said: “We had no idea he was the victim of domestic abuse until his killer’s court case.

“He had a big group of friends and was a season ticket holder at Everton but his girlfriend isolated him from everybody and he even stopped going to the football.

“After he died we realised there was a huge gap in the system for the male victims of domestic abuse. It’s really important that the victims feel able to speak out.”

Last year the charity, based in Royal Standard House, in Birkenhead, received an initial £5,000 from the Steve Morgan Foundation, and this was followed by an additional £69,408 in Community Match Challenge (CMC) funding.


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