A charity which supports domestic abuse survivors across Oxfordshire has received a £75,000 funding boost from the Lloyds Bank Foundation.
‘Reducing the Risk’, which supports adults and children at risk of domestic abuse, hosted a visit from Oxford East MP and Labour Party Chair and lead for Women and Equalities, Anneliese Dodds, just before they published a new report into their impact.
Ms Dodds heard from workers at the charity in Barton, Oxford, which has seen a 10% increase in people being referred to it in the last 12 months. Of these referrals, women made up the vast majority (93%), and half of all women referred had one or more children.
The Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales is an independent charitable trust funded by Lloyds Banking Group. The Foundation is providing £75,000 of new funding for the next three years – and in total, they will have provided more than £350,000 to the charity over nine years when this new funding comes to an end in 2026.
The money will be used to help the charity strengthen existing services and broaden its reach, including establishing a new rural service helping those who may otherwise struggle to find and access support.
Anneliese Dodds MP visited the charity on Friday, 17 November and met the whole team, as well as Lloyds Bank Ambassador for the South East Esther Dijkstra.
Anneliese Dodds, MP for Oxford East, said: “This was a really valuable visit to Reducing the Risk. I want to thank the charity and everyone I met there for sitting down with me and, above all, for all the work they do.
“Domestic abuse is a huge challenge, and there is more that can be done, including improving how the courts deal with domestic abuse to stop the cases I heard about.
“There is definitely no one quick fix – but timely support, like that offered by Reducing the Risk, is absolutely essential. It was also fantastic to hear first-hand how the Lloyds Bank Foundation has played a part in supporting the charity.”
Esther Dijkstra, Lloyds Banking Group ambassador for the South East of England, added: “This charity provides an invaluable and often hidden but critical service in my region.
“Domestic abuse is an issue which goes far beyond Oxfordshire, which is why, as a bank with 26 million customers, we’re committed to supporting those who find themselves experiencing domestic abuse.
“We also understand the link between domestic abuse and a lack of affordable, safe housing options available to people, with nearly 1.5 million households across the country currently stuck on social housing waiting lists.”
Dawn Hodson, Chief Executive of Reducing the Risk, ran the meeting with Ms Dodds alongside Romy Briant, who was a founding trustee. Dawn said, “Our charity started in a kitchen in 2007 and has gone from strength to strength since then.
“Alongside our direct services helping survivors be safe and navigate the court system, we now have a network of 5,000 champions working in public and other services across the country who have the understanding and training to support people who have experienced abuse.
“The Lloyds Bank Foundation has helped us grow and develop our services and the champions programme and has strengthened us as a charity. We are very grateful for their support.
“As we continue to grow, we were delighted to share our story and work with Anneliese Dodds MP as well as highlighting the very real challenges facing people trying to escape domestic abuse, particularly the pressures in the courts system.”
Duncan Shrubsole, Director of Public Policy at the Lloyds Bank Foundation, said: “We support small charities who do great work supporting people in their communities and help them to grow.
“Reducing the Risk are a great example of this. We are pleased to have worked with them since 2017, and to have backed them not just with grants – but a range of support to help them become even more effective in supporting people.
“Through their Champions and Friends programmes, many more people and organisations now have the awareness and tools to be able to help survivors escape and move on from domestic abuse.”