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Nationwide Building Society Community Fund Supports Women’s Aid ABCLN

Women’s Aid ABCLN has been awarded a Nationwide Building Society Community Grant of £50,000 to support children and young people affected by domestic abuse.

The charity has developed a new project called ‘Inside Out’ which will provide emotional and therapeutic support for children and young people aged 8-18 who are affected by domestic abuse to reduce children’s isolation, increase safety and support them to thrive within their home.

Women’s Aid ABCLN Communication and Engagement Manger, Arlene Creighton said:

“Over the pandemic many women and children living with domestic have been in lockdown with their abusers and unable to seek help.

“Children tell us they have been locked ‘inside’ with feelings of fear, anger, isolation and helplessness, creating increased anxiety and stress which has impacted on their mental health and well-being.

“With the support of Nationwide Building Society Community Grant this project will provide funding for two dedicated Children's Support Workers over two years who will respond to the physical, psychological, emotional, social and educational needs of children affected by domestic abuse and promote positive mental health and well-being with one to one support, group work, education and prevention programmes.”

Arlene continued: “Our experience shows when children who have experienced domestic abuse are given a safe place, where their voice can be heard and they are responded to in a nurturing way, they build resilience and are better able to cope with their trauma.

“Good mental health ‘inside’ is essential for children’s growth and development, and this project will equip them with coping strategies crucial for dealing with emotions such as a fear, anxiety and stress.”

Domestic abuse can affect all areas of children and young people’s lives including health, education, social activities, employment, relationships their peers and engagement with the communities in which they live.

An ‘Inside Out’ Advisory Group will be set up by young people to explore ways to engage other young people and will develop a peer mentoring programme and toolkit focusing on healthy relationships.

The project will encourage young people to take part in community based activities with partner organisationsand communities tailored to meet their individual needs, increase confidence and self-esteem, and improvemental health and well-being ‘inside’ and 'out'.

Women’s Aid ABCLN provides confidential support, information and emergency accommodation for women and children who are affected by domestic abuse across Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey.

“One in four women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime and often the biggest victims of domestic abuse are the smallest,” Arlene continued. “Over 30% of domestic abuse starts during pregnancy. In 90% of incidents children are in same or adjacent room when violence happens.

“Police respond to one incident of domestic abuse every 17 minutes and we know that for every incident the impact on children and young people can be devastating.”

“We are delighted to receive this Community Grant from Nationwide Building Society and look forward to working in partnership with staff in our local branch here in Ballymena and across Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey to raise awareness about the issues faced."

Sue Addison, Branch Manager with Nationwide Building Society in Ballymena commented:

“Helping to improve our communities is at the heart of everything we do. Our vision is for everyone to have a place fit to call home and we are passionate about supporting people to thrive in their home environment.

“We are very aware of the impact the pandemic has had on our local communities over the last couple of years and have seen first-hand the fantastic work that the dedicated team at Women’s Aid ABCLN are doing to support women and children in our local area.

“We are absolutely delighted to support Arlene and her team as part of our Community Grants programme and are really looking forward to working together to provide future help and support in any way we can.”

If you are affected by domestic abuse you can call Women’s Aid ABCLN on 028 25 632136. Find out more about Nationwide’s Community Grant programme:


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