£126,000 boost for Borders domestic abuse support team

A charity offering a lifeline to Borders women suffering domestic abuse is aiming to expand its services after landing a double cash boost adding up to £126,000.

By Paul Kelly
Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 8:13 am
Border Women's Aid admin assistant Brenda Evans with service manager Carol Hush.
Border Women's Aid admin assistant Brenda Evans with service manager Carol Hush.

Border Women’s Aid, founded in the early 1980s, is based at an office in Hawick’s Liddesdale Road and also runs a refuge at an undisclosed location in the region.

Some 17 women and their children were looked after last year at its refuge, staying an average of 80 days.

The service has been given a grant of £90,226 from the National Lottery’s community fund, and that money, boosted by a further £36,000 from the Glasgow-based Robertson Trust, means it can now set up an outreach programme.

That funding will pay for the three-year appointment of a new member of staff to support women in the community, increasing the current four weeks of post-refuge support it offers to a full year, and it will also allow some help to be provided at weekends.

The expanded service will include helping women make connections with groups in their new communities.

Service manager Carol Hush said: “This is great news for the service, but it is much more important for the service users because we will now be able to respond to them at the point of contact, so we can now engage with women phoning us for outreach support.

“Previously, if someone left the refuge and she got a tenancy in Peebles, we would support her for four weeks beyond her leaving. Now we can do that for up to a year, which is much better and enables us to help her get established in that community.”

The Lotto grant was part of a £664,000 package of handouts for five such organisations across Scotland.