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  • Date: 21/04/2022

Honeycomb Group develops scheme for domestic abuse survivors leaving local refuges.

Leaving refuge is an incredibly difficult and scary time for many. There’s the huge financial cost of finding a deposit, first months rent, white goods and more, but the biggest worry is safety.

After escaping an abusive relationship Polly* moved into our domestic abuse charity Glow’s community accommodation. A hidden location, the home had security, support staff on hand and essentials such as food and toiletries too.

Polly stayed there for a couple of weeks but refuge and emergency accommodation is only temporary. Polly was ready to move on but like many escaping abuse, she had left her family, friends, home and all of her belongings behind. Financially, she couldn’t find a home to fit her new income and more importantly, she couldn’t find a place that made her feel safe.

Staffs Housing have supported Glow for the last nine years and are both part of the Honeycomb Group family. They have provided homes for those leaving refuge but together a new approach was needed.  

Using a local building, Staffs Housing created six, one bed apartments. The main priority was safety with secure door entry, CCTV and video doorbells, then the next – making homes affordable. Staffs Housing realised that many domestic abuse survivors are forced to rebuild their lives from scratch and without the support of friends, family and a stable income making a home liveable is incredibly expensive.

With this in mind they installed quality flooring and kitchens complete with integrated appliances such as a cooker, fridge and freezer. This enabled survivors to move straight in without going into debt or spending months without appliances or flooring.

Polly and others at the scheme can also access floating support to help them with setting up utilities, council tax and other administration. The specialised domestic abuse support worker also helps find employment and volunteering opportunities, signposts to support programmes and creates safety plans.

Director of Housing, Tim Sheail explains: “We wanted to create quality spaces that people are proud to call home. Although we have supported Glow for many years we knew there was a housing gap in the recovery journey for domestic abuse survivors.

“We wanted to create safe spaces where people could feel at home straight away. We also wanted to make sure that this could be their forever home after months, or sometimes years, of temporary accommodation.

“We hope this partnership project between Staffs Housing and Glow will help those escaping domestic abuse rebuild their lives and perhaps encourage other housing providers to develop similar schemes too.”

*name changed