My Sister’s House given police grant of £80k

Sussex Police. 'Safe Space' provider network funding. By Carlotta Luke
Sussex Police. 'Safe Space' provider network funding. By Carlotta Luke

A charity that offers support to women who have suffered domestic abuse has received £80,000 in funding from the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner.

My Sister’s House in London Road, Bognor, provides a wide range of support services to women in a variety of difficult situations.

Sussex Police. 'Safe Space' provider network funding. By Carlotta Luke

Sussex Police. 'Safe Space' provider network funding. By Carlotta Luke

Founder and CEO Julie Budge said she was ‘really excited’ to have been selected for a ‘safe space’ provider network, officially announced yesterday with grants totalling nearly £600,000 to support groups.

Julie said: “It’s great for Bognor Regis, the centre is based here in Bognor, we’ve supported 600 women here since we began in 2014.

“It’s a lovely acknowledgement for all the hard work and blood, sweat and tears that have gone into the service and obviously all the women who use the service are delighted.”

She added that the connection would never mean victims would be made to go to the police but it would help in securing further funding for the mostly volunteer-run group.

My Sister's House founder Julie Budge with Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.

My Sister's House founder Julie Budge with Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.

The police funding itself will secure the positions of two part-time members of staff over the next 18 months, in highly qualified positions to support domestic abuse victims.

Julie said she expected there to be an increase in ‘first point of contact’ referrals from police encountering women in trouble.

And any women at the centre, in addition to a drop-in centre open to all, can also access workshops, counselling, employment and financial services.

“I think that’s that the police were interested in, is that wrap-around support,” Julie said.

She said it was a ‘fantastic achievement’ to have such a large part of the fund for both East and West Sussex of £591,000.

Other groups awarded funding included legal advice group the Daisy Chain Project, the Barnardo’s DICE Programme and women’s kickboxing therapy group Kick Into Positive Action.

Addressing the organisations at a presentation in Lewes, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “This is an event to say a huge thank-you to you all for taking the time to create such innovative projects to support victims of crime and their families across our county.

“Everyone’s priority in this room is to keep people safe and to help them cope and recover as best we can.”