A local solicitors’ firm has gone that extra mile to help a domestic abuse charity in Coventry rise to the challenges of the pandemic.
Staff and friends of Coventry & Warwickshire law firm, Alsters Kelley Solicitors Ltd raised £775 by walking a 10-mile route between two of their offices in Coventry and Leamington.
The challenge is a welcome boost for Coventry Haven Women’s Aid. The charity, which marks its 50th anniversary next year, has seen a sharp rise in the number of calls post-pandemic as more women experiencing any form of domestic violence and abuse seek their services and support.
Jaime Richards, Development & Funding Officer from Coventry Haven, pictured right, said: “We were extremely concerned about lockdown and knew it would significantly reduce the safe space for victims to be able to reach support; victims became invisible literally overnight.
“We worked hard to ensure women knew that they could still leave throughout lockdown, including TV and radio campaigns, and we delivered our posters to supermarkets, local shops and chemists.
“We saw an increase in third party contacts discussing concerns with friend, family and neighbours, and we delivered various online training sessions to employers and managers around how to recognise signs and deal with any disclosures.
“As expected, as lockdown started to ease, we saw a huge increase of helpline calls and referrals into service and this has remained consistently high throughout the last 18 months. All our services remained open throughout including our three refuges, and the refuge team were there to support our residents through such unprecedented and uncertain times.”
She added: “The last 18 months have been so difficult for everyone and in particular the charity sector, so we are very grateful for Vicky and the team at Alsters Kelley for their ongoing support this year and for all the funds raised by the charity walk.
Coventry Haven is just one of the nominated charities being supported by Alsters Kelley, which was established in the 1980s and now has offices in Coventry, Leamington, Southam, Stratford and Nuneaton.
Vicky Smith, Conveyancing Assistant and one of the firm’s charity champions who organised the walk, said: “We had a great day – there were about a dozen of us who took part plus children and a dog! The weather was perfect for walking that distance and as well as raising a great amount of money for Coventry Haven it was also an opportunity for us to see colleagues that we haven’t seen for such a long time.”
Donations can still be made at: https://www.justgiving.com/AlstersKelleyCHWA
Jaime Richards added: “We support women and children through all types of abuse; we listen, we believe and do not judge, and we aim to empower victims to live a life free from fear.”
Further information about Coventry Haven can be found here
Further information about Alsters Kelley’s services can be found here