Staying Put is part of Bradford’s Survive and Thrive partnership. It has continued to operate throughout the pandemic.
Working within government guidelines for personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing, staff met with those at high risk of domestic violence. They gave out food parcels, installed panic alarms and worked to meet all safety needs. The community IDVA/ISVA team provided legal support as well as emotional support to women.
The levels of demand increased, with the service seeing an increase of around 200 more referrals to its services each month compared to the same time last year
Staff remained in the refuges, continuing to support service users. They attended police stations to support victims of abuse.
The limitation on service provision made it more difficult for those experiencing violence to seek help. Older women and those without access to IT or who had their internet access controlled found it difficult make appointments with their GP.
Practical support became virtual due to courts closing, solicitor firms, community centres, housing and many more key services. Service users said they felt anxious and unable to deal wit the abuse. The demand and needs increased due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The cases became more complex and required more call time than previously.
Using COVID-19 funding, Staying Put were able to employ sessional staff to meet the needs of service users. This included delivering food parcels to people’s homes when they were unable to leave the house. Local communities donated food to Staying Put’s refuges.
Staying Put also provided information and education about the pandemic, with support workers giving reassurance and guidance on health and wellbeing. They dealt with myths and concerns about COVID-19 to ensure service users complied with government guidance and were able to get COVID-19 tests and vaccines.
The recovery and resilience team provided virtual recovery courses to service users as well as face to face coffee and craft session to the isolated and most vulnerable group. Crafts such as soap making. Writing journals, creating tote bags, snow globes helped relieve some stress COVID packs were created with mindful activities, PPE, health advice and Government guidance.
The team put PPE, activity packs and COVID advice together to support families during isolation.