AN under-threat domestic abuse advice support service has been saved – after receiving vital funding which will secure its future.
Next Step, based in Swadlincote, had been facing the prospect of closure with National Lottery money set to run out in April.
But after a being locked in battle to secure funding over the last few months, bosses at the service, which has been providing support to victims for more than a decade, have finally being told the news they have been desperate to hear – that the service has a future.
The organisation has been saved thanks to Derbyshire’s newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Charles, who has dedicated part of his budget to the service.
The rest will come from Derbyshire County Council.
Julie Johnson, the centre’s manager, told the Mail: “It’s such a relief. It would have been devastating for myself and all the staff and volunteers to have to close. We’ve been all over the place for funding and to be finally told we have it, the relief is unbelievable. There has been a lot of uncertainty.”
The funding means that the service will be able to continue supporting victims of domestic violence for at least another year, but Mrs Johnson was hopeful she wouldn’t have the same battle on her hands in 12 months time, as it looks towards becoming self-sustaining.
Mrs Johnson said: “There has been a lot of disappointment, it’s been dreadful but they (National Lottery) can only support so much. We have made an awful lot of difference to people’s lives, helped them and given them support to make themselves and their families safe. To lose that would have been devastating.”