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Amy Cousens raised £2,088 from 76 supporters.

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Closed 24/09/2017

104%
£2,088raised of £2,000 target by 76 supporters

    Weʼve raised £2,088 to Help support Women's Aid to stay open

    Location
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    Category
    Time left
    Funded on Sunday, 24th September 2017

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    Story

    Recently South Yorkshire Women’s Aid (SYWA) were made aware that there would not be the same funding to bid for after their initial funding runs out in December and that in fact there would be no money for the service at all.

    SYWA are running off an initial funding grant from Doncaster council of £30,000 which started in January of this year. This is a small pot of money which doesn’t stretch very far, but the 3 part time staff, trustees and volunteers work very hard to make it a service which can support women within Doncaster and the wider South Yorkshire community. The work they manage to do at the service is life saving and live changing. They provide supportive advice and therapeutic courses which give women back control and confidence in their lives.

    Since settling into their new office in late march they have had over 100 referrals for their programmes. They are inundated with referrals for advice, both from council agencies and self referrals. Over half of the core service provision hours are done voluntarily and they struggle to pay rent on their single room office.

    Apart from South Yorkshire Women’s Aid, Doncaster council provides a skeleton domestic violence service with incredibly limited front-line staff, some who are full to capacity and are not taking on any new clients.

    One thing is abruptly clear, domestic violence support needs to be vastly expanded in Doncaster to meet the needs of women in Doncaster and the wider community. What SYWA has been told is that there is no funding for the service from the council to stay open past December. The council have told SYWA that there are no funds for the voluntary sector full stop.

    This leaves South Yorkshire Women’s Aid facing the prospect of closure after December. It is hard to secure alternate funding without council funds; funding schemes like the big lotto rarely fund organisations that do not have alternative funding.

    This is not the first time SYWA have been in this position, last March the service closed due to lack of funding. However campaigners fought relentlessly to win back funding and re-opened the service.

    The closure of SYWA was last year and will be again a devastating blow to women and girls within the community. Without the support of specialist violence against women services, women and girls will remain trapped in abuse, without any service support to help them rebuild their lives. Without specialist violence against women’s services, women die. A woman committed suicide after she lost contact with SYWA when the service closed last year. This is not an uncommon situation, 2 women a week are murdered by partners or ex-partners and a further 5 attempt suicide to escape the effects of abuse, with 3 a week being successful. This puts the death toll at 5 women a week dying directly from domestic violence.

    Domestic violence is a massive problem globally, and Doncaster has some of the highest repeat rates of domestic violence and has a higher proportion of high risk cases (high risk meaning severe danger of murder).

    Despite the severity of the situation facing women and girls in Doncaster, the council have still decided to discontinue funding and turn its back on vulnerable women and girls in Doncaster.

    This is being done under Jo Miller, the chief executive of the council who claims to be ‘pro women’ and organised a ‘rival’ northern power house conference to one which had few women speakers. Activists from ‘women’s lives matter’, a campaign group started by defending the service last year, do not accept the statement that Doncaster council have no money for this service.

    A report by TUSC (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) titled ‘How much reserves do councils have?’, has found that Doncaster has £81.7 million pounds in reserves as of March 2017.

    Women’s lives matter and South Yorkshire Women’s Aid do not accept the council’s ‘no money’ verdict and will be campaigning relentlessly to obtain money from the council.

    Across the country women and women’s services have been at the front of the firing line of austerity cuts, this is in spite of rising tax’s of the lowest 5th of the population. There are currently not enough services and refuges for women fleeing violence as it is and activists will not allow the only Women's Aid to be lost in South Yorkshire.

    The women’s lives matter group will be fighting the discontinuation of funding to SYWA - However we need as much financial support we can get in the meantime to make sure we do not close after December - we realise that this service cannot stay open from public donations but they go a long way and are life saving.

    Updates

    3

    • Amy Cousens5 months ago
      Amy Cousens

      Amy Cousens

      5 months ago

      I can't even begin to tell you how grateful we are at SYWA for all your help and support. We were devastated when we knew that the council would not be continuing to fund us. But this crowdfunding campaign has given us huge hope of the support and solidarity that exists with our campaign to stay open, not just in Doncaster but internationally! We can now stay open until December and start to save for the new year, we will still be raising funds until we get some long term funding. We know now that we have all the support we need to stay open x

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    • Amy Cousens6 months ago
      Amy Cousens

      Amy Cousens

      6 months ago

      Wow this is absolutely incredible. We can't thank you enough for all of your incredibly generous donations. This money is invaluable to the lives of the women and girls we support - this money will go towards keeping us open. Us staying open saves loves. Given how well this page has done, the staff team have decided to up the target to £2000, this will keep us fully operational, all our bills and everything for one month. Thank you so much again.

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    • Amy Cousens6 months ago
      Amy Cousens

      Amy Cousens

      6 months ago

      Wow. Thanks to all your help we've just raised a months rent. You've all given incredibly generously and I cannot tell you how heart warming that is. The money you have donated so far will keep us going for another month and supporting women and girls for another month and that means the world to us and them. We are determined to win money back off the council despite their argument that there is no money due to cut backs. We cannot accept austerity, we do not believe there is no money. We will fight to stay open. Thank you all so much.

      Update from the Page owner

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    6 months ago

    Amy Cousens started crowdfunding

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    Supporters

    76

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Sep 24, 2017

      So glad you reached this goal! But I know it's still far short of what you really need.

      £18.00

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Sep 23, 2017

      Heard about this from @revkatebottley talking about donating first #feministtenner - here's mine.

      £10.00

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Sep 23, 2017

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Sep 23, 2017

      Keep fighting the good fight.

    • Dawn Thompson

      Dawn Thompson

      Sep 23, 2017

      Amazing cause x

      £20.00

    • Anonymous

      Anonymous

      Sep 23, 2017

      £10.00

    • Lorna Caulfield

      Lorna Caulfield

      Sep 23, 2017

    Great people make things happen

    Do you know anyone in need or maybe want to help a local community cause?

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    About Crowdfunding
    About the fundraiser
    Amy Cousens

    Amy Cousens

    Leeds, United Kingdom

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