HR2day, an HR specialist based in Darlington, has pledged 12 months’ support to local charity Family Help Darlington CIO, to help women in the region escape domestic abuse.
Nicky Jolley, founder and managing director of HR2day, responded to an appeal from the charity, which suffered a drop in donations due to the COVID-19 crisis.
She pledged a fixed donation of £100 per month for 12 months to support the charity’s essential work.
Established in 1976, Family Help is an independent charity, which is home to Darlington’s only women’s refuge – one of the longest-standing refuges in the UK. It provides safe temporary accommodation for those that need it in a purpose-built refuge.
Every year, it accommodates approximately 60 women and 100 children who are suffering domestic abuse, providing them with a safe, welcoming home and a supportive team who encourage progress towards positive and safe outcomes, where they are free from violence and domestic abuse.
Not only was Family Help hit by a loss of funds caused by COVID-19, it was also forced to stop taking donations of clothes, toys and toiletries because of the risk of spreading infection. It has also been forced to cancel essential fundraising events and sponsorship activities.
Nicky Jolley said: “I’ve known the team at Family Help for a long time and when I saw how the charity had been impacted by COVID-19, I wanted to help.
“Family Help provides a vital service for women and children in the area who are trapped in abusive situations. Many of these families will have struggled to get the help they needed during the lockdown, so I have no doubt the team will be incredibly busy now restrictions have lifted.
“Pledging our support for the next year demonstrates our commitment to the work the charity does, and we’d urge other local businesses to do the same.”
The workplace is often the only place where domestic abuse victims feel empowered and able to share their experience. HR2day has been working with clients to prepare for the forthcoming Domestic Abuse Bill, which will come into force in April, whereupon companies must be able to demonstrate that employees who report domestic violence can be supported and their privacy respected.
Carole Clarkson, CEO at Family Help Darlington CIO, said: “As a charitable organisation, Family Help relies on funding and donations in order to provide a holistic package of support to those affected by domestic abuse.
“The team has worked tirelessly during the pandemic to secure funding from BBC Children in Need, Lloyds Foundation, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, National Lottery Community Fund and County Durham Community Foundation, however, there are serious concerns over funding for the coming years as funding pots have been brought forward to deal with the pandemic.
“We’d like to thank the businesses like HR2day and individuals within the local community for their overwhelming support to help us survive in such an unprecedented situation. Their donations will help to keep women and children safe from their abusers, and prepare them to start afresh.”