Although Bromley Women’s Aid (which runs the six domestic violence refuges in the area) receives statutory funding, this has been cut significantly over the last few years and is likely to be cut still further. BWA has therefore become more and more reliant on charitable income, and the support of local organisations such as BBB.
Here are just some of the ways in which Bromley Women’s Aid has asked BBB to help over the last three years:
- By supplying formula to babies living in refuge. Most women moving into refuge are completely reliant on state benefits to survive (and pay their rent to BWA). There is often a delay between a family arriving in refuge and the mother’s benefits starting to come through – with even more delay if the abusive ex-partner has hidden her documentation to make escape difficult. Whilst the refuge officers help as much as they can, this can mean families living for several weeks without the resources to even buy milk for a baby;
- By supplying bedding for families living in refuge. BWA is legally obliged to supply all new families coming into refuge with new bedding – but the cuts have meant they struggle to find the money to cover it. BBB is currently helping BWA by buying some new bedding for families with young children;
- By funding events such as cinema trips in the school holidays. A family film session at the weekend with Empire Juniors costs just £1.25 per person, but this is something that BWA does not have spare funds for. For a total cost of around £20, BBB has arranged a morning out for several families with young children, who have really appreciated the change of scenery. We have also funded a coach trip to Danson Park, which meant that the young children (and the exhausted mums!) were able to enjoy a day out in the park without a long journey on public transport before and after.