The Women In Safe Homes fund was launched as a joint venture by Resonance and Patron Capital in 2020, to address the specific needs of women escaping domestic abuse, leaving the criminal justice system and at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
In it's second year of operation, the Women in Safe Homes fund social impact report has just been released. If you'd like to read more about the fund, please visit the social impact report.
As part of our twentieth anniversary celebrations this year, Resonance published a book of its journey since 2002. Tracy Blackwell, Director Insights and Partnerships at domestic abuse housing charity Refuge, and one of our housing partners in the Women in Safe Homes fund, kindly contributed her recollections of the start of our new relationship.
The potential of our partnership is exciting
Refuge has been working with Resonance on the Women In Safe Homes Fund for a couple of years now and we are excited about the potential of our partnership. Social impact investing is hugely important for a charity like ours. As the largest specialist provider of domestic abuse support services in the country, Refuge knows first-hand how the housing crisis and a shortage of affordable, high-quality housing affects women and children fleeing domestic abuse.
Rising rents, unsafe housing and a lack of funding are some of Refuge’s biggest concerns. Survivors of domestic abuse face many barriers when escaping abuse and we know housing is one of the biggest issues. At Refuge, providing emergency accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic abuse is one of our most important principles, it is vital that this housing is safe, affordable and high-quality.
Facing unprecedented demands
Resonance supported Refuge to source our first property during the pandemic. This was the toughest time in Refuge’s fifty-year history, with unprecedented demand on our frontline services. Calls and contacts to our National Domestic Abuse Helpline – the gateway to domestic abuse services all over the country, rose by over 60% during the first three months of lockdown in 2020. Never had the issue of women’s safety and domestic abuse been more paramount. Even now as we emerge into a “new-normal” post-pandemic, demand for our services continues to be at an all-time high.
There is a shortage of appropriate high quality refuge buildings. Our partnership with Resonance gives us control over what our buildings look like, ensuring our emergency refuge accommodation is high quality, fit for purpose and designed with survivors’ comfort and safety in mind. Resonance purchased our first building in 2021, with plans to renovate it to provide a refuge that can support seven families, with staff located on site. We have worked closely with Resonance on the design and specification, learning from each other along the way. Securing the right building in the right area and having financial security to see out a longer term vision enables us to work with commissioners to secure funds to provide specialist support to women and children. And with the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 comes a statutory duty for local authorities to provide safe accommodation. The Resonance social impact investment model will be even more important in helping organisations such as Refuge meet the growing demand for safe accommodation buildings. Thank you Resonance for the journey so far and we look forward to continuing to work with you.
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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.
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