Welcome

Springfield offers refuge accommodation for women aged 18+ years who need somewhere safe to stay and a community service for women and men affected by domestic abuse in South Lakeland.

“Springfield strives to meet the needs of women today who live with the terrible impact of domestic abuse.  Through our refuge and growing community work lives are being changed.  With your support, building on over 100 years of supporting women, we won't rest until all domestic abuse is history.“

Anne Russell, Chair of the Trustees.

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About

Building a Brighter Future

We provide both accommodation and support in the community including counselling, group work and outreach, as well as training and awareness raising sessions for local organisations.  Accommodation is available for women (18+ years) who are in insecure or unsafe housing or who are homeless, and are ready to make some changes in their lives. We prioritise referrals for women who have left or are about to leave an abusive relationship. We can offer you practical help to learn life skills, understand what you can expect from relationships, rebuild your self esteem and become financially independent.

One recent resident said, "I had such an awful time in my life, lots of abuse, anxiety and depression.  I was damaged.  Springfield have helped me and all the girls here to be rehabilitated and ready to be strong enough to live a normal life.  Thank you Springfield staff for being so kind, helpful and amazing.  You have have made me feel stronger."

The community service is available to women and men aged 16+ years in the South Lakeland district who have been affected by domestic abuse.  Just ring us to refer somebody or get help yourself on:

Telephone number:  01539-726171

Email:                        springboard@springfieldvoices.org

We can also deliver training and awareness raising sessions.

Who We Are

Springfield is a long established independent charitable organisation.  We do not judge you for the choices you have made, nor do we discriminate against anyone.  Our values are about making a difference for each woman at the refuge and for everybody who needs our services.

The staff are trained in all aspects of the support needed, including understanding mental health, drug and alcohol issues, the dynamics and effects of domestic abuse, suicide prevention, the benefits system, assessing and managing risk, and how to make sure everybody uses our services makes progress to get to where they want to be in their lives.

The Springfield Trustees, chaired by Anne Russell, oversee the work of Springfield and are committed to challenging domestic abuse in the South Lakeland area.  Ring us on 01539-720313 or email us on hello@springfieldvoices.org if you would like a speaker for your organisation.

We are a member of the South Cumbria Domestic Violence Champions' Network and involved in other local and regional forums to address domestic violence and homelessness.

Springfield uses recognised ways of ensuring that we meet quality standards for homelessness and domestic violence services.

Training

We can provide training or awareness raising for your business or organisation tailored to your needs.  Sessions can look at the dynamics of domestic abuse and how you can be more effective in helping your service users or staff. There may be a small charge to cover our expenses and staff time.  Please telephone 01539-720313 or email hello@springfieldvoices.org to discuss.

Users’ Voices

Our work is planned and guided through consultation with our service users.  We support residents and others to have their voices heard in a range of different ways.  In the refuge, residents help in the selection of new staff and in appraisals.  We are always looking for new ways of making sure we meet the needs of the community and of women and men who are experiencing abuse from partners, ex-partners or other family members.

The Refuge (Springfield)

The refuge is for single women (we cannot accommodate children) aged 18 years and over.  The house is warm and welcoming and is within walking distances of shops, doctors' surgeries and other amenities, in a quiet residential area. A pleasant garden has sitting out areas, plants and shrubs.

There is an excellent level of security within and around the building to make sure that residents and staff can feel safe and confident going about their daily lives.

Springfield contracts with Supporting People Cumbria to provide supported housing for vulnerable women, prioritising those affected by abuse.  Most women stay for around 6 months but it is possible to stay for longer, when needed.  We help women move on to their own accommodation and link in with local housing associations, landlords and advice centres to get things moving as soon as possible.

The building is staffed every weekday during the day, and at night every night of the year.  There is always a member of staff on call - we do not use external contractors or a concierge system.

Referrals should be made through Cumbria Supporting People Central Access Point by ringing 01228-221548 or via www.cumbria.gov.uk/supportingpeople

In an emergency, if you or someone you know is homeless as a result of domestic violence, please contact South Lakeland District Council Homelessness Department on 01539-733333.  They will contact Springfield to discuss the best way of helping and accommodating you.

Outreach

We provide outreach to women who have moved on from Springfield and who are getting themselves settled independently, and to women who may be at risk of becoming homeless as a result of domestic abuse.

Community Service (Springboard South Lakeland)

We established a community service with funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government in 2015 to offer a range of support to people - women and men - in the South Lakeland area who have been affected by domestic abuse.  People can ring us directly (including friends and family) and agencies can also refer to us.  Using a conveniently situated local base, we run a variety of groups for people to choose from, or they can have counselling with one of our highly experienced team of counsellors, or one-to-one support on the practical and emotional issues that arise from living with abuse.  We can help with transport costs if you live at a distance and struggle with petrol costs or bus fares.

Our groups look at different topics such as keeping safe in relationships (incorporating online safety), assertiveness and communication and more practical things such as dealing with money, debt and time management.  We are also looking to provide taster activities such as yoga, pilates, meditation and mindfulness.  The staff and volunteers in the community service are warm and friendly.  

"Before I went to Springboard I was very low, confused and struggling to cope with day-to-day life.  I felt overwhelming guilt that I had failed my daughter and was unable to protect her.  Springboard has given me back my lost self-esteem and confidence due to their ongoing support, understanding of domestic abuse and helpful, useful information.  The courses and sessions are delivered in a gentle, compassionate way and help you on a journey of self-healing.  Meeting other women who have had similar experiences also helped me greatly.  I am now able to face my day with positivity again.  Thank you so much Springboard - your help has been invaluable!"

If you are living in a relationship where you are:

  • Being constantly put down
  • Called names
  • Humiliated in front of your children
  • Told what to wear or who you can see
  • Questioned and criticised
  • Bullied, shoved, slapped or beaten
  • Not allowed to spend your own money
  • Worried about what your children are having to see and hear
  • Made to have sex that you do not want

... and are questioning whether any of this is wrong or right - or even questioning your own sanity then please pick up the phone and ring 01539-726171 or email springboard@springfieldvoices.org.  A member of staff will listen to you (or call you back on a safe number/at a safe time) and talk things over with you.  Nobody will tell you what to do or criticise your choices about your relationship.

If you are at risk of being seriously harmed or you are very frightened then please ring Cumbria Constabularly on 999.

We will help you to look at your relationship and any past relationships which have affected you, get a better understanding of them and a chance to learn about the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships - and how to make your best choices for you.  If after talking with you we believe your situation is extremely risky for you we will help you to contact LetGo, the specialist Independent Domestic Violence Service.

 

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What People Say

“Some of the women that come here come from really terrible situations and abusive partners. I think with the hills at the back, it’s in a lovely peaceful location, with a beautiful garden to relax in. It’s the ideal place to recover and heal from an abusive relationship”
Charlotte, lived at Springfield for two years.

“There's always staff around to talk to. There's lots of CCTV and alarms, too, so I always feel safe.”
Linda, has lived at Springfield for six months.

“The staff here are really, really nice people. They give you all the help you need and support you”.
Elaine, has lived at Springfield for eighteen months.

“Springfield just makes you feel welcome and at home”.
Marcia, has lived here for five months.

Kay says “I’ve been a women’s support worker here for more than two years, and I love my job. It’s a well established team here. You wouldn’t think it, but we have a lot of fun at Springfield. It’s lovely to see people turn their lives around and it gives me a real buzz when someone comes in very shy and lacking in confidence, and then you see them blossom, making friends and having a giggle for the first time for ages! We have lots of training provided to make sure we do the best job we can, and we have regular supervision to support the staff too. I can’t imagine working anywhere else that would give me the job satisfaction I get here”.

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Contact

hello@springfieldvoices.org
01539 720313


Springfield is supported by: The Frieda Scott Charitable Trust, The South Lakes Community Safety Partnership, Kendal Neighbourhood Forum, The Sir John Fisher Foundation, The John Slater Foundation, The Hadfield Trust, The Lupton Tower Trust, Kendal and South Westmorland Rotary Associations, Soroptimists International Grange and Windermere, The Margaret Cropper Trust, Northern Rock Foundation, The Clothworkers' Foundation, Taylor, Newton & Hibbert Charity, The Quaker Housing Trust, The Allen Lane Foundation, Awards For All, Seba Trust, The Bryan Lancaster Trust, The Ardbarrow Trust, The Kendal Lions, Cumberland and Westmorland Freemasons, and the many churches, Parochial Church Councils and generous individuals in the South Lakes area

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