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Vital domestic abuse support may be withdrawn from Ribble Valley
8:00pm Tuesday 1st October 2013 in News
DOMESTIC violence victims in the Ribble Valley may be left without a support network after a leading charity was told their funding could be withdrawn.
The Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Domestic Violence Team (HARV) was told at the end of last week that their funding from Lancashire County Council for their work in the Valley might not be renewed.
After a last-minute phone call the group was given a grant until the end of October but it now has to reapply for a longer contract.
If its latest bid is rejected over the next few weeks, victims in the Ribble Valley could be left without a support network to rely on.
The group’s funding would be cut from £25,000 to £4,000 if the new bid, which is part of a larger constorium of domestic abuse charities, is accepted.
Debbie Fawcett, chief executive of HARV, said: “There is no guarantee that we will be able to get a new contract from the county council which would provide us with longterm security.
“At the moment we don’t have that and we might have to pull out of the Ribble Valley next month. We have had to let a few members of staff go already and we will have to significantly cut back on our services even if we do get a new contract.
“We will have to stop going into schools and we will have to start asking victims to come to us instead of us making the trip to visit them.
“The future is very uncertain and we are all hoping that a solution can be found as quickly as possible because there is no provision to help vicitms in the borough if we pull out.”
A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “Tackling domestic abuse is a key priority for the county council and our partners, and we are leading the way locally on providing a more joined-up approach to domestic abuse services – for children and young people, victims and perpetrators. We recognise the challenges facing the voluntary sector in securing funding, and we have been working closely with HARV and other voluntary organisations to find a better, more sustainable way to fund domestic abuse services.”
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