Local domestic abuse charity
celebrates 30 year Anniversary
THE Liberty Centre based in Ormskirk
has received a ₤50,000 grant to fund its work supporting women and children
living with, or at risk of domestic abuse over the next 2 years.
The charity has been awarded the grant by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and
Wales, 1 of the UK's leading community grant makers, to help expand its work
through refuge provision, outreach, confidence building courses, group work and
counselling so that those experiencing or fleeing domestic abuse can rebuild
their lives positively.
The grant will also contribute towards 50% of the Chief
Executive's salary for the next 2 years, securing the charity's future at a
time of growing need.
In 2017, the charity celebrates its 30th Anniversary of delivering services in
West Lancashire. Its Chief Executive, Eleanor Maddocks escaped from domestic
violence and successfully settled in a new area with 6 children.
She set up
the refuge in 1987 in response to her own experience, determined that local
women should have a safe place to escape from domestic violence.
Eleanor's own experience has been the driving force behind the charity's rapid
growth and successful delivery of services for those experiencing domestic and
sexual abuse, including local sexual abuse services for the first time.
years on, it is time to recruit a successor who can secure the charity's
long term future and continue to deliver on Eleanor's legacy to the community.
Small, specialist charities deliver vitally important work in local communities
but are often under resourced and lack funding. Current commissioning trends
mean Councils are increasingly moving away from awarding charities grants to
deliver vital public services and instead are issuing large contracts, which
small charities are less likely to win.
Lloyds Bank Foundation aims to
strengthen the small charity sector through longer term financial support for
the charity's day to day work tackling disadvantage in their local community and
by offering further support to help make their organisation more sustainable.
Eleanor Maddocks, Chief Executive of The Liberty Centre, said:- "We are
delighted to be supported by Lloyds Bank Foundation for the next 2 years. This
funding will help us to continue to support young people, women and men, and
families living with, or at risk of, domestic abuse. Raising awareness,
providing a safe place to stay, building confidence, offering support and
counselling, a 24 hour helpline are all part of our essential services. The
Foundation's support means we can provide information, advice and
awareness raising across the community so that anyone affected by domestic abuse
knows there is a trusted, accessible and effective service that meets their
individual needs whenever they need it."
Paul Streets OBE, Chief Executive of Lloyds Bank Foundation, for England and
Wales, said:- "We are proud to support The Liberty Centre in its
invaluable work reaching out, engaging with and empowering more disadvantaged
individuals helping them move on from domestic abuse to improve their lives.
Through our grants and wider support, Lloyds Bank Foundation will continue to
fund, champion and help to build the capacity of small, specialist charities
like The Liberty Centre that are an integral part of the social fabric of our
communities. Relentless cuts to public spending, unfair commissioning processes
and rising demand for their services have hit small charities hard. In this
perfect storm, funding from independent grant makers can literally mean the
difference between survival and closure."
'Three Girls' -
Unless we learn the lessons, the exploitation and abuse will only continue
"VIEWERS have quite understandably
been shocked by the 1st episode of the 3 part BBC real life drama Three
Girls about the horrific abuse suffered by vulnerable children and young
people in Rochdale. But unless we take the lessons to heart the exploitation
and abuse will only continue..." says national charity:- "Family Education
What happened in Rochdale was not unique. Over the past 5 years, serious
case reviews have reported on child sexual exploitation perpetrated against
vulnerable young women in regions as far apart as Torbay, Liverpool,
Thurrock, Oxfordshire, Hampshire and Bristol. In addition, in 2014 Professor
Alexis Jay published the findings of her independent inquiry into child
sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 to 2013.
Family Education Trust director, Norman Wells, whose review of these reports
was published last week observed:- "All 8 reports tell the same story
underage sex was viewed as a normal part of growing up and relatively
harmless provided it was consensual. Again and again it was assumed that the
girls were making 'lifestyle choices.' There was a readiness among
professionals to routinely provide contraception in confidence, without
considering the possibility that the young people may be suffering abuse. The reports in Rochdale and the other regions reveal an inclination to
treat children under the age of 16 as adults with the competence to make
their own decisions with regard to sexual activity and a tendency to dismiss
the concerns of their parents out of hand."
One of the 2 Rochdale serious case reviews notes that it was:- "absolutely
clear that the problems were much more deep rooted than can be explained as
failings at an individual level." There were "widely held and deep
rooted attitudes" on the part of professionals whose assumption that the
teenagers were making meaningful choices about how they lived their lives
was "fundamentally misconceived."
Norman Wells commented:- "The underlying problems are social, cultural
and moral. It is time to grasp the nettle and get to the root of the crisis.
A review of professional attitudes towards underage sexual activity is long
We also need an investigation into the unintended consequences of teenage
pregnancy strategies which have a focus on sex education and the
confidential provision of contraception, abortion and treatment for sexually
If we continue to turn a blind eye to the root causes of the current
malaise, we can expect to see yet more horrific cases of child sexual
"Unprotected; How the normalisation of underage sex is exposing children
and young people to the risk of sexual exploitation" by Norman Wells was
published by Family Education Trust, on 8 May 2017, 152pp, ISBN:-
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