Nottinghamshire women’s refuge ‘let down by council’

bird_ForWebA women’s refuge has taken to Twitter to accuse Nottinghamshire County Council of letting vulnerable women and children down.

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Midlands Women’s Aid gives shelter to nine at-risk families and supports countless others in the community through an outreach programme.

The refuge is celebrating its 40th birthday this year, making it one of the oldest in the country. It has received council funding since it opened. In 2012 the organisation was unsuccessful in its bid for funding and the council money went to two other women’s organisations in the county.

The charity will have to raise as much as 44,000 pounds a year to survive.

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Jon Wilson, deputy director of Nottinghamshire County Council’s adult social care department disputes the claims that the residents of the refuge have been abandoned. He says the refuge lost their funding as part of a democratic tender process.

We have to test the market every so often to make sure we are getting the best value we can, the best service we can and the best outcomes for individuals. – Jon Wilson, Deputy Director of Adult Social Care

As a result of the two year dispute, seven members of staff have been made redundant and the refuge now operates on a mostly voluntary basis. The resident children have also lost their support worker, which according to the centre manager Cathy Saunders is the most significant outcome of the situation.

 Cathy Saunders- Midlands Women’s Aid

The refuge has recently started using Twitter to publicise their frustrations, accusing the council of letting down their residents, particularly the children.

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The county council are adamant that services for the resident women and children would not have been compromised, if Midlands Women’s Aid had complied and given up the management of the building to the preferred provider.

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