Dispersed refuge service

Who is the service for?

Women and men aged over 16 and their children who have to leave their homes because of domestic abuse. What do we offer?

What do we offer?

WHAG manages 6 properties across Cheshire West and Chester that we use to provide a dispersed refuge service.

This means that we can offer more flexible choices about housing and support to:

  • Men
  • People with older children
  • People with larger families
  • Families with pets
  • LGBTQ people
  • People who may prefer not to stay in the refuge
  • People leaving their homes because of forced marriage or honour based violence.

The properties are all self-contained so you and your familywould not have to share them with anyone else. They have separate bedrooms (up to three) a living room, kitchen and bathroom.

You will be able to stay in the property for up to 14 weeks.  During that time, you will have a support worker who will work with you to look at what changes you want to make in your life, and draw up an action plan to help achieve these.  This will include finding somewhere to live after you leave the property, and making sure you know what to do to help keep you and your children safe.  We will support you to apply for benefits and grants for things like white goods and furniture.  We will help you make sure you have the knowledge and skills that you need to stay in your new home in the long term.

Your support worker will be available during office hours. Outside this time, we will make sure you have emergency contact details for the on call staff.

Once you have moved in to your new home, if it is in Cheshire West and Chester, we can carry on supporting you for up to 12 weeks.  If you move outside the area, you will be offered our Key Ring service (see below.)

Support can include things like:

  • Help with moving in
  • Arranging for security equipment such as window locks to be fitted (sometimes know as ‘target hardening’)
  • Applying for benefits such as Universal Credit
  • Getting gas, electricity and water supplies in your name and putting payment arrangements in place
  • Finding out about community services such as support groups, Citizens Advice, volunteering opportunities, libraries and health services
  • Recovery programmes such as counselling, befriending and training programmes.

After this, you will be offered our Key Ring service, which is a 3-monthly keep in touch telephone call to check how you’re getting on and make sure you know where to go to get any help or information you need.

How do I get this service?

You need to fill in a WHAG Referral Form and email it to cwacdispersed@whag.info

You can fill in the form yourself or you can ask someone else to do it for you. This could be an organisation such as your Housing Office or Housing Solutions, Women’s Aid, the police or the National Domestic Violence Helpline (see below.)

You do not need to live in Cheshire West and Chester.

When we get your form, we will contact you to arrange a telephone interview to see if the Dispersed Refuge service can meet your needs. This might involve talking to other organisations that have been helping you.

If we can offer you a property, we will tell you about any waiting periods, and contact you as soon as possible so you can move in.
If we cannot offer you a property, we will tell you why, and talk to you about what other options you might have.

For more information

Cheshire West and Chester dispersed refuge service

National Domestic Violence Helpline (24 hours)

  • Tel: 0808 2000 247

CWAC Housing Options

  • Tel: 0300 123 2442
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