Video: Norwich-based domestic violence charity celebrates 40th anniversary
06:30 09 April 2014
The chief executive of a domestic violence charity pledged to continue to expand support services at an event to celebrate a landmark anniversary.
More than 120 Leeway staff and supporters gathered yesterday to mark the 40th anniversary of the organisation, which was started up with a £200 grant from Norwich City Council and has grown to supporting thousands of victims of domestic violence every year across Norfolk and Suffolk.
The charity, which was formed by a group of volunteers in 1974, has expanded by offering three refuges for women and children, outreach services, and a specialist advice and support line.
Supporters gathered for an afternoon tea at the Assembly House in Norwich yesterday, which was attended by the Lord Mayor of Norwich, Keith Driver, and Sheriff of Norwich, Graham Creelman, who made Leeway their civic charity for 2013/14.
Mandy Proctor, CEO of Leeway, said the extra support had made a big difference over the last year.
“It really has helped raise awareness of domestic violence issues and people are aware of the support we provide. Last year, nearly 10,000 women, children and men used our services and we have got a new social enterprise where we are doing training for partner agencies and raising awareness,” she said.
The charity, which has its headquarters in Norwich, employs 50 people and last year received a £4,500 boost from the Lord Mayor’s Celebration in Norwich and £7,000 from a civic dinner.
Mr Creelman added that he was “delighted” to have helped raise more awareness of the organisation.
“We have come a long way in recognising that domestic violence is a serious crime, but we still have a vast journey to make. If you do work with Leeway, you see the havoc and destruction domestic violence causes to people’s lives and if people realised that, they would recognise it needs to be treated even more seriously,” he said.
The charity is staging a fundraising medieval banquet at 7.30pm on May 31 at St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich. For more information, email email@example.com or call 08452 412171.
Have you got a domestic violence story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org