SUPPORT GROUP FOR VULNERABLE WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY THE TRAUMA OF DOMESTIC ABUSE/VIOLENCE IN THE HEART OF TORQUAY

Ladies Lounge is a women’s-only support group in the centre of Torquay to help women who have been affected by domestic abuse/violence and who need emotional support, advice and information.

Specifically targeting those women suffering with mental health, and substance misuse issues brought on by domestic abuse/violence. We also help those involved in sex working and street sleeping, such women are often both involved in crime and victims of it, trapped in destructive lifestyles and with little or no positive associations, often subject of various types of abuse.  Due to the nature of their circumstances it is estimated that many of these crimes often go unreported.  Our volunteers are trained and DBS checked. We receive referrals from Torbay Domestic Abuse Service, the Standing Tall Partnership, Chadwell Mental Health Service, Age UK, Shrublands, Walnut Lodge (NHS drug and alcohol service), the Leonard Stock Hostel for the Homeless, Haytor – Torbay Hospital and the Homeless Hostel Leonard Stocks.  These women often feel trapped, have low self-esteem and suffer from poor mental health.  Ladies lounge is a voluntary run, women only safe space.  Volunteers provide a safe environment, engaging with attendees in conversation and signposting them towards specialist service providers and helping them to keep that connection i.e. assisting them in keeping important appointments etc.  They meet other vulnerable women, where they talk and share experiences and feel less isolated.  The crafting table is set up during every session as it has been proven that crafting helps greatly when suffering from anxiety and depression.



Ladies Lounge is part of the Standing Tall Partnership – the new Domestic Abuse aware partnership in Torbay

The Standing Tall Partnership is a group of organisations and community groups who understand the impact that domestic abuse and sexual violence have on an individual and their family and who are working together to provide services to people in the Bay who have experienced them, in an informed and empathetic way.

A wide range of local organisations from the Torbay Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Community Partnership have launched a new support service called Standing Tall Torbay.

Community groups including What’s Your Problem CIC, Torbay Ladies Lounge, Rising Moments, Make Amends, Devon Rape Crisis, Phoenix Rising CIC, Age UK Torbay, Youth Genesis, Bthechange CIC, The Children’s Society, Emberlense, Eat That Frog CIC, Torbay Libraries, Refuge4Pets, Engaging Communities Southwest, Shekinah and Devon Clinic CIC are working together in partnership with Healthwatch, Safer Communities and Torbay Community Development Trust to provide vital support services for families affected by Domestic Abuse in the Bay.

The partnership believes that by working collaboratively we can be more effective and offer a range of different support services tailored to the needs of residents. This also means that people who need help only need to ask once in order to access a range of different specialised support.

With funding from the Ministry of Justice Extra-ordinary Fund via the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, they can offer people support to access help from the Family Court, Counselling, Emotional Support, Food and other provisions.

The Ladies Lounge’s role in the Partnership is to offer emotional support. A few of Ladies’ Lounge volunteers are involved in the partnership’s Listening Ear service which provides support by phone to a number of women referred to Ladies’ Lounge by the Partnership.

Cllr Hazel Foster, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Member Champion for Torbay Council said: “Asking for help can be so difficult and so I welcome the launch of this partnership where people only need to make that one call to access lots of help.  It is fantastic to see community groups working together to offer such a vital service for our community at what is a very challenging time for us all.”

If you need help, please contact the Torbay Community Helpline on 01803 446 022 between 10am and 6pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 12.30pm Saturdays.

If you are at immediate risk of harm dial 999.

Alternatively you can check the Torbay Domestic Abuse Services website for further Help and Advice.

I am so grateful for the care and support I have received from Ladies Lounge – if it hadn’t been for them, I would be living on the streets.

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Ladies Lounge is a safe haven

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