Project information

Make a House a Home for Domestic Abuse Survivors

When women + children flee domestic abuse to live in one of Solace Women’s Aid refuges, they often leave with nothing except the clothes on their backs, feeling traumatised and afraid. Our project will provide practical and emotional support in the refuges to help them on their journey of recovery.

January 2017 - March 2017

Charity information: Solace Women's Aid

Solace Women's Aid logo
  • Need


    The key issues we will be solving are the isolation and fear that survivors of domestic and sexual abuse feel when they enter our refuges, and the huge impact of abuse on families.

    28% of women in the UK experience domestic violence; and 9 times out of 10 this is in front of children. This impairs children’s emotional well-being leading to low self-esteem and behavioural issues. The women and children have often developed negative attitudes towards relationships, which need to be addressed.


    Solace’s holistic model of care will change the refuge house into a home. Our Family Support Worker will provide practical and emotional support for the children and young people, to improve their safety, well-being and confidence. She will also arrange group activities and outings into the local community, to reduce their sense of isolation and help them recover. We will create a welcoming environment through refurbishments of our refuges and welcome packs of essential items when they arrive.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To improve children and young people’s safety, well-being and self-esteem, and reduce anxiety.


    » Group work and Play Therapy for children affected by domestic abuse, to help them make sense of their experiences and recover.
    » One-to-one specialist support from the Family Support Worker to help improve their safety, confidence and behaviour.
    » Local community activities to help them make friends and rebuild their lives.

    Through consultations with the mother and child we will be able to monitor survivors' progress through engaging with the project.

    Aim 2

    Improve parenting skills to improve family bonds damaged by their experience of abuse.


    » Mother and Baby, and Parenting Groups, to help mothers/carers cope emotionally and to understand the impact of domestic abuse on their children.
    » Family work with the Family Support Worker to rebuild family bonds and to work through individual family issues.

    Evaluation of results will enable us to see the difference the service has made, such as survivors' feelings of safety and well-being.

    Aim 3

    Increased confidence in creating boundaries and recognising domestic abuse warning signs.


    » Help them understand and come to terms with their experiences of domestic abuse.
    » Raise awareness of how to recognise and challenge abusive behaviour in potential partners.
    » Increase their confidence in maintaining healthy boundaries so they walk away from abuse in future.

    We ask for feedback from our service users to find out how confident they feel about the future and living independently free from abuse.

    Aim 4

    To create a warm welcoming environment in the refuges to improve survivors well-being and recovery.


    » Repainting the common area and bedrooms with cheerful colours that are chosen by the survivors.
    » Provide a welcome pack with essential items when they first arrive in the refuges, from clothes to basic toiletries and food.

    Service users will be consulted before the refurbishments and painting, and asked for their feedback once work has been completed.

  • Impact


    Long term changes include more resilient, confident service users, who will be more able to recognise and challenge abusive behaviours and walk away from abuse in future. This will support service users’ journey of recovery and living independently. We regularly review service users’ progress against their Safety Plan and Support Plan, and consult with survivors on improvements to their well-being and circumstances after engaging with the service.


    There is already a successful programme running in the refuges for families, but Solace needs additional funding to provide the best possible practical and emotional support in the first quarter of 2017. We are applying to a charitable foundation for funding from April 2017 onwards.


    Donors will receive an email report at the end of March 2017 to thank them for their help and to update them on the progress of the service. This will contain data, quotes, case studies and consultation results from service users, as well as feedback from staff working on the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £16,667

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £7,312 Family Support Family Support Worker to provide emotional support o children in refuges
      £2,018 Family Support Group activites, trips and outings to help children integrate with each other + the local community
      £2,655 Family Support Support for the Family Support services; such as interpreters, travel costs etc
      £1,280 Refuge New bedding for families as they arrive at our refuges
      £1,402 Refuge Starter pack in refuges e.g. kitchen items, and basic foods + toiletries
      £2,000 Refuge Refuge refurbishments to make the house a home

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Richard Cloudesley's Charity £5,000 Guaranteed
    The Arsenal Foundation £2,500 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Family Support Project will run in Islington where it is currently underfunded, but the essential items for survivors as they arrive in the refuges, as well as the refurbishments, will be across London.


    100 children and young people, and 60 mothers or carers will benefit from this project in our refuges across the boroughs.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Solace is a leading independent charity working across London. We have more than 40 years’ experience of supporting survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, and have gradually strengthened our specialised support for children, young people and their mothers/ carers in refuges. The service has already shown hugely positive outcomes in terms of safety, recovery and emotional welfare. This puts Solace in a good position to further enhance and develop this service across London.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Sharmeen Narayan

    Senior Manager for services in Islington and she will provide support for the Family Support Worker in this borough.

    Kossar Butt

    An experienced Refuge Manager, and she will ensure the development of this service to help turn refuge houses into homes.

    Ivy Jackson

    An experienced Refuge Manager, and she will ensure the development of this service to help turn refuge houses into homes.


£75 will pay for bedding, utensils, crockery, basic food items, toiletries and clothes for a family