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Support for Sanctuary scheme

Peter Hunn receives the cheque for £1,219.50 from some of the women who supported The Ladies' Magpies Fund Raising Evening in Horncastle.

A scheme which helps protect victims of domestic abuse has had its future assured thanks to the efforts of a group of women determined that others should be able to feel safe in their own homes.

The Sanctuary Scheme equips the homes of the vulnerable with high levels of security to ensure they can carry on living in a familiar environment, possibly close to family and friends, after they have been victims of domestic abuse.

Earlier this year the scheme was in danger of grinding to a halt because of lack of funding. The Sanctuary scheme attracted interest from press, radio and television when it was launched in Boston in 2010 and has so far supported 200 victims.

Carol Robinson heard about the predicament through her magistrate husband and decided to involve her friends, relations and associates in a fundraising venture for the scheme.

She said: "We all believed that victims of domestic abuse need the opportunity and the support to live safely in their own homes. We were determined the Sanctuary scheme should not fail for want of funding for equipment when all the other support structures were in place."

A partnership of agencies, including Lincolnshire Police, Boston Borough Council and Boston Mayflower work closely with a number of statutory and voluntary groups, including police domestic violence teams and the South Lincolnshire Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference, to gain referrals. 

Boston's crime reduction police officer visits victims at their homes to carry out a crime prevention assessment of the property before liaising with the council to arrange for the necessary safety equipment to be provided.

Boston Mayflower Housing and maintenance partners, Kier Building and D&M Barthorpe, support the scheme, providing a handyman to install security measures in victims' homes. 

Carol organised a fundraising dinner at Horncastle's Magpies Restaurant With Rooms which included a short informative talk carried out by Lesley Weal from Boston Women's Aid about the Boston Sanctuary scheme, Boston Women's Aid and domestic abuse, in general. This was followed by a charity auction. Donated  lots ranged from meals out and hair-dos to flowers, macarons, massage treatments, original art and even a half-day out with a herd of friendly alpacas from supporters in Horncastle, Louth and Lincoln.

The event  raised in total £1,219.50 from the meal, the auction  and donations from friends, relations and associates. A little extra came from a donation of an amount paid via Ebay from a lady selling a gavel, bought for the auction, who donated the payment when she heard about the good cause it was to be put to.

All the money will help pay for "target hardening" equipment for the Sanctuary scheme, such as spy holes, intercom systems, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, door chains, light timers, safety alarms and memo cams and memo cards, which are super-efficient video cameras which detect any unexpected movement inside or outside the home.

Peter Hunn, Boston Borough Council's principal community safety officer, thanked the ladies for their support and said: "This will enable us to continue making life safer for victims of domestic abuse, placed at risk of harm through no fault of their own."

Lynn Mitchell, Boston Women's Aid manager, said victims of domestic abuse came from all walks of life and protection was often needed for women and their children.

The group is now planning another fundraising venture at Function First in Louth when invited guests will be able to take part in self-defence awareness.

If you need help from the Sanctuary scheme please contact Sue Storr on 0300 365 5000.

If you can help the Sanctuary scheme please contact Peter on 01205 314245 or email peter.hunn@boston.gov.uk

If you can help Boston Women's Aid please contact Lynn on 01205 311272 or email admin@bostonwa.co.uk They are always looking for good quality used clothing.

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