Charity sees more baby
victims of domestic abuse
FIGURES released by Buttle UK; a
UK wide charity providing financial support to help children (up to the age of
18) in crisis; has shown a staggering growth in the number of young victims
exposed to domestic abuse.
Buttle UK's exclusive figures show that the number of grants awarded to families
affected by domestic abuse rose by 22% between 2015 and 2016. Over ₤1m was
awarded to those families affected by domestic abuse last year alone.
Even more alarming is the statistic that nearly 10,000 children who were
referred to Buttle UK last year had been affected by domestic abuse; out of
these 3,384 children were aged 4 or under. This represents an increase of 35% on
the number of cases in this age group compared to the year before.
Although Buttle UK was setup to support children and young people who are in
financial hardship and are dealing with other serious social issues, domestic
abuse is consistently becoming the primary reason why they get referrals (and
this is true across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales). Looking at
the reasons as to why families were referred to the charity during the last 5
years, 27% stated the primary or secondary reason for support was domestic
abuse. This equates to 15,483 of 57,024 cases referred to Buttle UK during this
Of the children and young people supported by Buttle UK grants over the last 5
years 35,380 out of 121,540 were affected by domestic abuse. The charity
registered a 29% increase in the number of children in this category last year.
The types of abuse registered included physical, mental and sexual abuse. In
most cases the children had witnessed the abuse taking place in the home, often
on an ongoing basis. For many their behaviour had become either withdrawn or
challenging as a result.
Buttle UK is a unique children's charity, with their administration costs
covered by a legacy set up by its founder, clergyman Frank Buttle, some 60 years
ago. This means that the charity is in a position to offer donors the
opportunity for every penny of a gift to go directly to support the cause. Today
they are the country's largest grant-awarding charity, focusing funding directly
on children and young people and the main distributor of small grants for BBC
Children in Need.
Commenting on the figures Gerri McAndrew, CEO of Buttle UK said:-
"Domestic abuse is an extensive and largely under-reported problem across the
UK. Support services often assume that a child's needs can be met by addressing
the needs of the abused parent. The increase in referrals we have seen may be a
result of better awareness of the issue in general, but we still believe that
the specific issues that children face in these situations are not being
identified and met.
We believe that this is the tip of the iceberg. It is estimated that 20% of
children in the UK have been exposed to domestic abuse, but there has been very
little published data in this area. The high number of children affected by the
issue is key to the rationale for our 'Chances for Children' campaign which
hopes to raise an additional ₤10m over the next 5 years to help meet the
inevitable increase in need to support these cases going forward."
McAndrew added:- "The current Government's policy on domestic violence has
no specific provision for children affected by domestic abuse, and there are
currently no official statistics on the number of children who live with it.
During this election we are calling for all parties to identify and prioritise
the needs of these children in their manifestos. We hope the next Government
will drive forward systemic change in how support services account for the needs
How Buttle UK are responding to the rise in children affected by domestic abuse
Over the last 3 years Buttle UK have been piloting an innovative new approach to
supporting children affected by domestic abuse. They have been providing grants
up to the value of ₤2000 that can be spent on a wide range of items and costs
Help victims of domestic abuse to resettle after leaving an abusive relationship; making them less vulnerable to returning to an abusive relationship as they
try to live independently for the first time. Here we have provided the families
with essential household items required, establishing an independent, long term
and secure home.
Specific funding targeted at children to help
them overcome their experiences and settle into their new surroundings. This has
included:- tutoring lessons, homework clubs, uniforms, computers, educational
toys, after school clubs, swimming lessons, football, drama clubs, karate
lessons, play therapy and lastly counselling.
To date this initiative has awarded 470 grants to the tune of ₤580,000. This
project was supported with funding from the City of London Corporation's
charity, the City Bridge Trust and ran across all London Boroughs and the
average grant awarded was ₤1240.
An independent evaluation of the project has found that
the grants offer:-
► A new beginning, that is more dignified than it would have been.
► Reduction in tension within the family:
improving family functioning.
in parental stress linked to household and financial management and an
improvement in parenting capacity.
► Reduction in mother's isolation: improving
support networks and resources she can draw on.
► Paying for extra tuition helps children to
'catch up' and increase confidence. It helps to address missed school, school
changes and disengagement due to trauma.
► Paying for after school activities help to
improve children's behaviour at, and engagement with, school.
► Computers are now essential for secondary
school children. Paying for these reduces the complicated arrangements and costs
associated with not having a computer at home.
► Parents in this situation are more typically
focused on the 'here and now' grant helped to support successful post-crisis
For the support services, the grants
helped to make services more child centred, by encouraging them to think about
the children's needs. They improved the relationship between referrer agency and
client, due to the level of practical support provided.
Buttle UK's 'Chances for Children Campaign' is set to raise an additional
₤10m to help thousands of children in crisis. Last year Buttle UK awarded 10,000
grants reaching early 30,000 children and amounting to ₤3.9m. ₤2.25m was awarded
to families on behalf of BBC Children in Need.
Donations to help young children experiencing domestic abuse can be made at:-
ButtLeuk.Org. Video can be watched on
Liverpool is home to
some of Britain's worst bosses
NEW data from the UK's leading
independent job site, CV Library, has found that 86.4% of workers in
Liverpool have had a bad leader, the 2nd highest of any other City in the
The survey, which asked 1,200 UK workers about their experiences of
leadership in the workplace, found that some of the worst traits of bad
bosses in Liverpool included:- being unprofessional (52.6%), poor
communication skills (38.6%), favouring certain employees (36.8%), having
unclear expectations (26.3%) and thinking they're better than everyone else
(23.7%). Other key findings from the research include:-
► A staggering 93.2% think that strong leadership is important in the
► …with 77.3% stating that they enjoy following a leader.
► BUT, bad leadership can cause employees to become de-motivated, according
to 30.8% of workers in Liverpool.
Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV Library , comments on the
findings:- "Bad management is often cited as the top reasons for
employees becoming stressed at work or worse still, leaving organisations
altogether, so it's no surprise that our findings highlight some of the
repercussions that poor leadership can bring about. Workers want to feel
supported in their day to day job, and often depend on a strong leader to
look up to, approach if things get tough and rely on for help on a daily
basis. Organisations across the City that don't promote best practice when
it comes to leadership will inevitably bear the brunt when it comes to
According to the study, a whopping 72.7% of employees living in Liverpool
believe that they'd make a good leader, with the key reasons behind this
including:- because they're approachable (28.1%), are confident (21.8%), are
good at communicating (15.6%) and are a good motivator (12.5%).
Biggins continues:- "Workers in Liverpool clearly understand some of
the key attributes that are needed to be an excellent leader, having
experienced firsthand some of the best and worst traits that bosses possess.
Finding great leaders can be hard, and local businesses should look to
develop employees that demonstrate the passion, drive and behaviour that is
needed to drive organisations forward in 2017 and beyond."
The research found that the best leadership qualities were: confidence
(52.3%), open mindedness (40.9%), honesty (36.4%), positivity (31.8%),
passion (29.5%), motivational (27.3%), trustworthiness (20.5%).
Find out more about CV Library at
passport to help disabled people to vote in Liverpool
NATIONAL social care provider Dimensions have created
an innovative new document which will help polling stations become more
accessible for people with learning disabilities and autism.
A voting passport is an easyread A4 sheet of paper printed with information
about the individuals' voting needs. It is designed to be handed to polling
staff so they easily can understand the reasonable adjustments needed to
make them feel more comfortable to vote.
The idea was created after feedback from the people we support, including
members of the Dimensions Council, indicated that polling stations can be a
difficult environment for people with autism and/or learning disabilities to
cast their vote.
Jordan, a member of the Council, was recently interviewed on BBC Ouch
discussing the issues he faced when he first went to vote in 2005.
Jordan has mild learning disabilities and cerebral palsy. He was turned away
from the polling station as he had a family member supporting him to read
the candidates' names, and information within the polling station and booth.
The Presiding Officer said that his family member:- "wasn't allowed to come in
and caused such a scene that Jordan's anxiety levels grew to a level where
the only option was for him to leave." As a result, he never got to cast his
vote in the 2005 general election.
The document itself hopes to tackle issues like this head on. It includes an
"About me" section with the person's name and a list of things to
help them to vote, for example, no waiting in long queues; staying with their support
It also allows them to write who they would like support from, their name
and if they are eligible to vote in the UK or, if not, that they will need
to work with the Presiding Officer to support them.
On the back of the document is a section called:- "Know my rights"
which includes extracts from the Mental CapaCity Act (2005), Electoral
Administration Act (2006) and Equality Act (2010) to bedunk common myths
about people with learning disabilities and autism's right to vote.
It also explains:- "What other people can do" e.g explain the ballot
options, come into the polling booth, and what other people can't do e.g
make a decision for you, mark the ballot paper against your wishes.
The voting passport forms part of a wider campaign by Dimensions called Love
Your Vote. The campaign is all around helping people with learning
disabilities and autism to become more politically engaged.
More choice for paying cash to the Council
RESIDENTS wanting to pay for Council services in cash
will be able to do so at more than 400 locations across the City, in a
change that is designed to provide more modern and efficient payment options
Payment kiosks in the City Centre One Stop Shop at Municipal Buildings are
being removed in July 2017, with customers able to use the City's 57 Post
Offices or 348 PayPoint outlets in local shops instead.
As well as being more convenient for customers, it will also save the City
Council more than ₤35,000 a year in transaction costs.
Regular users of the payment kiosks will shortly see signs adjacent to the
machines to inform them about the changes. Communication will also be sent
directly to cash paying customers and information will also be provided on
the Council's website.
Assistant Director for Revenues and Benefits, Martin Jungnitz, said:-
"This is about offering people the option to pay for Council services at a
place that is more convenient to them, rather than expecting them to come
into the City Centre. We are taking steps to let those who will be affected
know in good time to enable them to plan for the changes."
The One Stop Shop at Municipal Buildings is due to move to a new location at
St John's Market in the City Centre in October, following the recent sale of