Sefton Women and Children's Aid (SWACA)

A new refuge for people in Sefton needing support as they escape domestic violence is due for completion this June. 

The refuge will provide safe, supported accommodation for women and children fleeing domestic abuse 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

The new facility is being provided by One Vision Housing and will be operated by Sefton Women and Children’s Aid (SWACA).

Sefton Council is providing £534,000 funding, or £178,000 per year, to enable SWACA to operate the support service for the next three years.

The new refuge will offer 5 one and two bedroom self contained units.  

Sefton Women’s and Children’s Aid (SWACA) Chief Executive Neil Frackelton and Refuge Manager / Adult Caseworker Steph McManniman said: “Sefton Women’s and Children’s Aid (SWACA) are delighted to announce that we have been commissioned by Sefton Council to be the service / support provider of a new Refuge provision, for women and children / young people, which is an existing property which has been fully refurbished by One Vision Housing (OVH). 

“With SWACA’s substantial history, experience and expertise in providing specialist direct support to victims / survivors of domestic abuse, we are confident that we are the best organisation to fulfil, develop and meet the complexities that individuals face when escaping from domestic abuse. 

“We have a clear delivery plan underpinned by a trauma informed approach, taking into account the individual needs of the people accessing our service, so together we can work out what is important to them and to support them with recovering, re-building and resettling into a future free from abuse. 

“We have 5 self-contained units for women and children to access, within the new Refuge, provided in a safe and secure location with access to intensive support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”

In a report to councillors, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities & Housing said: “The existing refuge in Sefton closed in March 2020 at the outset of the Covid Pandemic. 

“Sefton Women and Children’s Aid (SWACA) was commissioned to provide support to the residents in the refuge. This provision was only provided 9am- 5pm Monday to Friday. 

“Due to its unsuitability the refuge did not reopen once the lockdown restrictions from the pandemic were lifted. Since that time there has been no refuge provision in Sefton. 

“The Domestic Abuse Needs Assessment carried out in Sefton in 2021 identified a need of 28 refuge bed spaces. 

“In the interim period One Vision Housing (OVH) have acquired a property which they have converted into 5 self contained 1 & 2 bedroom units to serve as refuge provision. The property is due for completion in June 2023. 

“In order to maximise use of the refuge for Sefton the purpose of this award is to ensure that we have a refuge provider in place for when the refuge opens. 

“The service will operate 24/7 and will also support any dispersed accommodation that may come online in the future. 

“The service will support female victims / survivors of Domestic Abuse to be safe, to address any health or social reasons for Domestic Abuse and create the resilience to move on. 

“In order to award to a provider with local knowledge and experience as well as proven track record in refuge delivery, a decision to make a direct award to SWACA for a 3 year period is recommended. Costs were received from SWACA (£178k p/a) and will be funded from the New Burdens Fund.” 

  • For more details about Sefton Women’s And Children’s Aid please visit: 

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