One mother’s struggle to rebuild her life and protect her child after an abusive relationship has led her to set up a much-needed charity in Sheffield.
Mums In Need (MIN) supports women who have left abusive relationships with the parent of their children. The charity acts as a support network, providing advice and access to services to mums, who often don’t know where to turn.
The Mums in Need centre is a safe space, providing a warm welcome to mums and facilities for kids. Through assessments, they ensure that they can provide bespoke support for each family that comes to them. Their services include one to one therapy sessions, guidance for dealing with family courts, physical support groups and much more besides.
Domestic abuse is an ongoing issue across the UK which affects both men and women. According to the Office of National Statistics, 1.2 million women experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2017 alone, in England and Wales. Making services like Mums in Need all the more important.
Laura Riley became determined to set up MIN after her own experience of domestic abuse and how she was left unsupported and alone following the abuse and during the years of legal battle for custody of her son.
She said: “My own experiences have given me the drive to help other mothers who are going through similar experiences. Anyone is at risk of domestic abuse, no matter their background or circumstances and we know that many cases of abuse go unreported. Our aim is to reach the ‘hidden woman’ who need that helping hand.
“Some of our team members have experienced domestic abuse first hand and have come out the other side, whilst other have worked in this area for sometime. Because of this, we have the experience and understanding to best help women who are taking those first steps away from abusive relationships.”
Sheffield has welcomed the new service, which is being widely supported. Grant making charity South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF) provided grant funding to the charity, thanks to the commitment of local wealth management firm, Investec Wealth & Investment to help local people.
Investec Wealth and Investment has an ongoing commitment to supporting charities, having recently also funded Sheffield Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre and Light Sheffield. Financial Advisor at the firm, Laura Atkins visited Mums in Need to see the impact of their work first hand.
She said: “After spending time with ladies at Mums In Need and listening to the work they have done and the help they are providing, we are thrilled to support such an important charity.”
South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation is a well-established charity and an important resource for community groups and charities in need of grant support to keep up their good work. Since SYCF was founded over 32 years ago, the charity has distributed over £27 million in grant awards and is a trusted partner for all types of donors.
CEO of SYCF, Ruth Willis said: “Many local businesses want to give back to the communities they work in and employ their staff from, in a charitable way. We have worked closely with Investec over the years to enable them to give back to Sheffield and their fund with us is the reason we have able to give grant funding to Mums in Need and many other charitable organisations too.
Mums in Need will be holding a Ladies Fashion Event on 14 June at the Copthorne Hotel Sheffield, to raise money to fund counselling and legal support for their clients. To get tickets go to: www.mumsinneed.com/events/