Domestic Abuse, Our Services & Donations Needed

This week we had meat and vegetarian chilli, that was accompanied with rice and garlic bread. We also had potato salad; apple and blueberry crumble with custard. The kitchen volunteers put together some salad from the donation of fresh ambient food we received this week from the supermarkets. 


Susan our foot care Specialist came in tonight and helped two clients. We have to juggle foot care with Hairdressing due to lack of space. Clients are now starting to use The Community Dental Team and the HOLT Outreach Nurses at 4pm on a Thursday. These services offer invaluable care to people who for whatever reason choose not to engage by going to a doctor or dental surgery. All these services could save a life. 

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, often known as Clare’s Law, is named after Clare Wood. Clare never knew that her ex boyfriend had a history of violence against women. The scheme is designed to protect potential victims from an abusive situation before it ends in tragedy.

Clare was brutally murdered at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, George Appleton who then took his own life. Clare, mum to a 10-year-old girl, was just 36. After her death, it emerged Appleton had a long history of violence against women, including holding one at knifepoint for hours.

We often come across people, whose lives and relationships are consumed with fear, domestic servitude, controlling behaviour and physical and/or sexual abuse. People become “stuck” in these abusive relationships, as they are too frightened to leave. Putting someone into a place of safety quickly is not always something a person is willing to do especially if they have to potentially leave children, grandchildren who are nearby. Fear of repercussions to themselves or family stops people leaving an abuse situation. 

Clare’s Law is one way that people can legitimately check out a new partner before potential problems start to occur.

Over the weeks, months and now years we get to know many of our clients quite well. Sadly we can also witness the deterioration of people’s health who are rough sleeping. Some have addictions or underlying health problems, which make the experience of sleeping rough a bigger toll on the body. We have researched that mean age at death of homeless people was 44 years for men, 42 years for women and 44 years for all persons between 2013 and 2017; in comparison, in the general population of England and Wales in 2017, the mean age at death was 76 years for men and 81 years for women. 

Some people who sleep rough find it difficult to live anywhere other than in a place on their own that they can call home. One of our homeless said to us this week  “I would rather die on the streets than go into a hostel” 

This is no reflection of statutory accommodation; this is just a personal preference of an individual. Housing for vulnerable people should be absolutely CLIENT LED. No one will thrive or engage and decide to make better choices and decisions if they do not feel they are in control of their future. It is about “working with” someone not “working against” them. 

Housing is always short. Private landlords are reluctant to take on a person on Universal Credit, as rent cannot be paid directly. However with support from Statutory Organisations and Charities, perhaps these arrangements are the way to help people that society forgets. Private Landlords need to come forward and work with us so these arrangements can help more people move on to a better life. 

We are always in constant need of tents, ground sheets and sleeping bags. We are currently in demand for plates, men’s Lycra boxers and rucksacks. Pot Noodles are a popular choice for our visitors, particularly Chicken and Mushroom and Beef and Tomato flavours! Coffee and orange squash are much needed, used and appreciated supplies. Please contact us to arrange a drop off. You’re always welcome to pop into the Soup Kitchen any Thursday evening with a donation you would like to make.

You can also donate needed goods using our AMAZON WISHLIST, or for money donations, please see our GOOD EXCHANGE where you can donate the exact amount of money you choose, directly supporting all of our services. Donations are matched £ for £ courtesy of The Greenham Trust.

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