We hear back from The River for an update on the work supported by the grant we awarded to them from our Covid-19 Community Response Fund.
We Love MCR Charity know that the risk of domestic abuse has heightened since the first lockdown in March 2020. We are reminded by national charity Womens Aid that Covid-19 does not cause domestic abuse, only abusers are responsible for their actions. The pandemic has, however, escalated abuse and closed down routes to safety for women to escape.
It is for this reason we identified that organisations dedicated to tackling the effects of domestic violence were a priority cause during lockdown, and in May 2020 approved a package of grants totalling £61,650 to local charities dealing with Domestic Violence & Vulnerable Children. The River are one of these 7 organisations supported by the Covid community response fund to help victims of domestic abuse.
With We Love MCR’s support, The River were able to help 50 families move to safety at no cost to the client. They were able to gift families much needed furniture to set up their new home and to provide food parcels (re-purposing about 6 tons of food!)
The River told us the difference this had made – it enabled people to restart their lives quickly at a time of uncertainty, without having to worry about finances or help in moving, and gave them peace of mind. One lady told us things worked out so well that it gave her hope and confidence to restart her life and to apply for a job!
This service was incredibly responsive, often helping people in emergency situations. The River told us about a lady called W, who was abused severely and her perpetrator was being released from prison the next day – she felt he was coming to get her. At short notice, The River helped move her quickly to a new home. The whole process gave her peace of mind as she had to attend court the next day and before The River’s support she was flustered and panicking. She said she didn’t know where she would be and “didn’t know where to get help if not for us”.
The River also supported families to move out of refuge, freeing up much-needed space for others in need of emergency help. So their fantastic work also has positive knock on effects down the chain of support need.
The River told us :
‘This has been an amazing grant at a much-needed time of the pandemic as it reached the most vulnerable clientele of domestic abuse. Without your help, the charity would have been struggling to provide these services for free for those affected. Thank you again for your belief in us’
WLMC are proud to have awarded The River a further grant from the Covid Community response fund to carry on this vital support for victims of domestic abuse.