Applications open for London Councils’ Grants Programme to support refuge provision for London’s most vulnerable residents

London Councils’ Grants Programme has announced the opening of applications for funding to deliver refuge provision for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, over the next three years.

London boroughs have collectively agreed a £840,000-a-year fund to provide specialist refuge provision for groups that struggle to access mainstream refuge provision.

London boroughs have collectively agreed a £840,000-a-year fund to provide specialist refuge provision for groups that struggle to access mainstream refuge provision.

Current support does not meet the needs of all survivors who need immediate access to find safety from their abusers, even with the changes brought forward by the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. London Councils’ Grants Committee recognises these gaps and this funding is specifically for groups that are not best served by current provision. 

In a recent survey by London Councils conducted by Ipsos, 25% of Londoners said they have been personally affected by the issue of domestic abuse, whether themselves (10%) or through somebody else (18%). Londoners were also asked if they were confident that someone experiencing domestic abuse would be able to access support if they reported it. Around half (51%) said that they were confident, though a sizeable minority (33%) were not confident this would be the case. Women are more likely not to be confident about people being able to access support (37% compared with 33% overall).

Certain survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence experience greater barriers in accessing support and escaping abuse, and so need dedicated, specialist support that is tailored to their needs. This includes many disabled, black or global majority and LGBT+ survivors, as well as survivors with multiple children and survivors with no recourse to public funds. Third sector organisations that support Londoners facing sexual and domestic abuse with refuge provision and have experience of working with survivors with complex needs are being encouraged to apply for funding. 

Mayor Damien Egan, Chair of the London Councils Grants Committee said:

“Applications are now open to deliver pan-London refuge provision for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse. We are working across London’s third sector organisations to design and deliver this much-needed programme.

“We would like to hear from organisations supporting those survivors who may not be served by mainstream refuge provision. By consulting our communities and seeing what is happening on the ground, we know our grants can have the most impact by targeting survivors who are least likely to get support elsewhere, such as survivors with no recourse to public funds. 

“We will continue to invest in refuge spaces for those people who could otherwise fall through the gaps. This new funding from boroughs will go a long way to help support some of our most vulnerable Londoners when they need help most.”

The current London Councils Grants Programme is funded by London boroughs on a cross-party basis and invests over £6 million each year in tackling homelessness and combatting domestic and sexual abuse across the capital. 

Applicants for the refuge provision tranche of the 2022-26 grants programme can be made by individual organisations or groups working together to provide services to tackle issues on a pan-London basis. 

Applications opened on Thursday 1st December 2022 and will close at noon on Friday 13 January 2023.

If you are a third sector organisation and you would like more information, please go to London Councils pan-London Grants Programme 2022-2026, or email funding@londoncouncils.gov.uk


Notes to editors: 

1) London Councils’ Grants Committee is a cross party committee which brings London boroughs together to fund pan-London programmes that meaningfully address London’s most pressing issues.

2) The current grants programme, ending in 2026 will invest £6 million each year to tackle homelessness and combat domestic and sexual abuse across London.

3) Details on how to apply for grants can be found at London Councils pan-London Grants Programme 2022

4) In March 2021, before the current Grants Programme began, Grants Committee unanimously agreed that they would defer the commissioning of refuge provision for the 2022-2026 Grants Programme to 2022, to allow for the introduction of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. 

5) The Domestic Abuse Act placed new duties on the Greater London Authority for the provision of safe accommodation for people fleeing domestic abuse. The Grants Committee agreed that by deferring our own commissioning to see where the gaps in provision lay, while extending the tenure of the previous incumbent providers, a fuller service could be provided to London’s vulnerable residents in the long-term.

6) To find more information on London Councils’ annual Survey for Londoners, please visit the London Councils website.

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