// Central England Co-op donates £40,000 boost to help stem the rise in domestic abuse in its communities
// There has been surge in reports of domestic violence since the lockdown came into effect
Central England Co-op has donated £40,000 to two charities as part of an effort to help support those impacted by a rise in domestic violence since the lockdown started.
The grocery retailer has given £20,000 each to Refuge and Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid to support their work to provide those who need support and advice.
Central England Co-op is also rolling out a poster campaign in its stores to advertise all of the contact details people may need to get in touch with these vital support services.
- Morrisons to offer support for domestic abuse victims as govt mulls codeword scheme
- Boots helps domestic abuse victims as cases rise during lockdown
- Grocery staff “should be trained” to spot abuse victims’ code words
The move is a response to a surge in reports of domestic violence following the introduction of the nationwide lockdown in late March to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.
A recent report revealed that demand to Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline has risen by over 60 per cent since restrictions were put in place.
“Refuge and Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid are both doing amazing work to help stem the rise in domestic violence cases witnessed since the launch of the nationwide lockdown,” Central England Co-op corporate responsibility manager Hannah Gallimore said.
“These groups are the experts in their field and this is why we wanted to make this donation, to allow them to use it the way they see best to help those in need at this time.
“We will also be doing our bit in store with a poster campaign aimed at highlighting contact details for all of these support services and more for those that need it.”
Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid chief executive Maureen Connolly said: “Home is not always the safest place and during the recent period, Covid-19 has forced women and children who are victims of domestic abuse, to stay at home with their abusers.
“Our front door has been really important for them, and through conversations on our extended helpline, our new webchat facility and home option hub, we have been able to offer support and routes to safety.
“Our refuges remain open and staffed, and we have throughout the crisis been supporting families who live there. We have provided activities for women and children to keep their morale high in the face of such challenging circumstances.
“It is with enormous gratitude that we receive this support from Central England Cooperative and this will be used to keep women and children safe, care for their emotional and physical well-being and hopefully be able offer a bit of fun, that we all need, under such challenging circumstances.”
Refuge chief executive Sandra Horley said: “Refuge is really grateful for Central England Co-op’s support, helping us to ensure as many women as possible know the number for Refuge’s National Domestic Abuse Helpline.
“Since the start of Covid-19, the Helpline has seen an increase in demand of over 60 per cent. This shows the sheer number of women who need the confidential, specialist support that Refuge provides. Every generous donation Refuge receives helps us to ensure that no woman or child is turned away from safety.”
People will have access to information on how to contact the following via the new store posters:
Central England Co-op is independent from the larger Co-op Group, and trades from over 400 grocery, funeral, travel and floral outlets across 16 counties.