IMPACT THEME: Housing & Homelessness, Health, Wellbeing and Social Care, Poverty and Disadvantage
WHAT THEY DO: Sheffield Women’s Aid offers a safe, supportive space for women and their children to live after leaving abusive relationships.
YEAR FOUNDED: 1974
PARTNERSHIP DATE: March 2023
FUND PARTNERSHIP: Women in Safe Homes fund
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS:
ABOUT: Sheffield Women’s Aid are a small charity established in 1974 solely based in Sheffield but housing women and children from anywhere in the UK who need a place of safety. The charity has been providing emergency accommodation for women and children that have suffered and survived domestic and sexual abuse and violence for over 45 years.
PURPOSE OF PARTNERSHIP:
Partnering with the fund’s seventh partner, Sheffield Women’s Aid (SWA), means that women living in Sheffield and experiencing domestic abuse will be provided with desperately needed safe and stable housing in the city. This partnership between the fund and SWA marks the start of the organisation’s move into owning ‘dispersed’ accommodation – individual family homes - adding to its existing refuge portfolio, directly supporting its ambition to own and provide a mix of accommodation types for women in Sheffield in desperate need of a safe place to live. In line with SWA’s property specifications, the fund is aiming to buy and refurbish 10 properties – mostly family homes but potentially one or two one-beds too – in the city.
SWA provide a comprehensive and holistic service of trauma-informed support for survivors which includes practical support such as ensuring women access all benefits they are entitled to, supporting women who have no recourse to public funds to secure leave to remain status, ensure child contact arrangements are safe and appropriate, alongside delivering 1-1 and group work support that has a therapeutic lens to support the recovery of survivors. During 2022, SWA supported 83 women and 86 children (43% of children were 0-5 highlighting the very early years impact for children). Overwhelmingly SWA survivors self-report experiencing mental health needs as a result of their trauma, that can have long-term recovery impact for survivors. The Sheffield Domestic Abuse and Safe Accommodation Strategy highlights how domestic abuse affected 20,000 adults and 28,000 children annually and is one of the main reasons for homelessness. This corresponds with the National Women's Aid Annual Audit (2023) reporting there Is a 23.2% shortfall in bed spaces nationally, needed to ensure survivors have means of escaping to safety.
The fund has bought and is refurbishing its first property for SWA and sourcing others so that women and their families can move into their new homes, where they are given individualised, person-centred support so that the process of healing, recovery and empowerment, especially after a difficult experience such as domestic abuse, can begin.
Louise Swinden, Resonance’s Property Fund Manager, said: “I am so pleased that Sheffield Women’s Aid has partnered with the Women in Safe Homes fund. Across the UK far too many women and children are experiencing the awful traumas inflicted on them by domestic abuse perpetrators so we are delighted that in Sheffield now, around ten safe, secure and affordable homes will be provided for the women who need them the most. This partnership is also enabling Sheffield Women’s Aid to not only expand its property portfolio but to also increase options for women living in the city in need of a safe place to live in order to escape their circumstances. Providing women with a safe home of their own alongside the wraparound support they will receive is a crucial step toward helping them recover from traumatic circumstances, and to gain stability so they can start to take control of and create positive lives for themselves. I am also so happy that women will be encouraged to bring their pets with them into their homes – we know that pets bring so much joy and comfort, and that having to leave cherished pets behind can cause women additional trauma and hurt.”
Keith Breslauer, Managing Director of Patron Capital, said: “We are truly privileged to join forces with Sheffield Women's Aid and be part of this transformative partnership. Together, we are spearheading an initiative to address the critical need for safe and stable housing for women facing domestic abuse. By harnessing our expertise in property-backed investments, we are committed to making a profound and lasting impact in the lives of these resilient women and their families. Through the Women in Safe Homes fund, we aim to provide them with not only secure and affordable homes but also the unwavering support and resources offered by SWA. We firmly believe that this collaborative effort will enabling these women to reclaim their lives and create a brighter future for themselves and their loved ones.“
Hollie Venn, Chief Executive, Sheffield Women’s Aid, said: “We partnered with the Women in Safe Homes fund as not only did we hear really positive experiences from other providers at a conference, we valued the gender focused lens of their work. As a feminist organisation, this was important to SWA to ensure all properties would be specifically for women (and their children) as we see daily the need and demand for accommodation. We found all the team patient when assisting SWA to work through queries we had as a small charity and guiding us through the accreditation process, to ultimately be accepted as a partner. Being able to increase our accommodation units to provide more safe and secure homes for domestic abuse survivors was the main reason for partnering with the fund – to enable us to reach more survivors than we do currently and within that both save and change lives.”
Resonance Limited is a company registered in England and Wales no. 04418625
Resonance Impact Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Resonance Limited, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm number 588462.
Disclaimer: This website does not contain, constitute, nor does it form part of, an offer to sell or purchase or a solicitation of an offer to sell or purchase, any securities, investments or financial instruments referred to herein or to enter into any other transaction described herein. Resonance is not providing, and will not provide, any investment advice or recommendation (personal or otherwise) to you in relation to any securities, investments or financial instruments or transactions described herein. Whilst all reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this website, neither Resonance nor its officers accept any liability for its contents or for any errors or omissions.