Norwich woman uses cash grant to help domestic violence victims

A city woman is helping hundreds of domestic violence victims thanks to a community grant.

Dawn's New Horizon, founded by Lorraine Saunders, received �1,000 last year to launch a new website and set up more phone helplines for the victims of domestic violence, both male and female.

The Evening News has again teamed up with Sport Relief and the Norfolk Community Foundation to hand out �50,000 in small grants of �500-�1,000 to deserving community groups and charities within the Norwich City Council local authority area. The new website for Dawn's New Horizon is a bank of information on domestic violence – for victims and their relatives, but also for perpetrators.

'We have done so much with the cash, and the new website has already been amazing for us,' said Lorraine, of Tuckswood. 'We couldn't have done it without the �1,000 we received.'

There are sections on male and female domestic violence, real-life stories, volunteering opportunities, pictures of events and links to other support sites. 'It's taken us a long time to put ourselves out there, but it has already brought so many new people to us,' Lorraine added. They include victims of domestic violence, volunteers who want to help and other organisations backing the work done by Dawn's New Horizon. Lorraine set the group up six years ago and since then the 45-year-old estimates she has helped more than 500 people.

The website is especially important for the group, as it offers information for people before they take the often difficult step of asking for it face-to-face. It has a 'getaway' button to instantly click away if someone walks into the room, installed at the request of the group's clients.

The group started with just one phone line which Lorraine manned on her own 24-7, but has since expanded to include more phone lines, one-to-one support and professional counselling.

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Where Dawn's New Horizon cannot help directly, it acts as the first point of contact to refer clients on to those who can. The group runs a flea-market and drop-in centre at Aladdin's Cave on Magdalen Street on Saturday, but has ambitions of opening a permanent base within the next year. She said: 'People tell me that if it wasn't for the group, they would still be there, in those violent relationships. It feels great when I think what we've been able to do.'

For full details on how to apply, visit or see

You can also write to Sport Relief Community Cash, Evening News, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE, or call 01603 623958.