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Friday, 24 October 2014

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£176,000 boost for children's charity in Cumbria

One of Cumbria’s best known charities that works with children and young people affected by rape, sexual abuse or domestic violence is celebrating after securing major funding.

Abigail Finnegan photo
Abigail Finnegan

The recent revelations about the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal have underlined the need for the work of charities such as Safety Net.

Working across north and west Cumbria, the Carlisle-based charity offers support to victims of abuse or domestic violence, with services such as therapy and support for some who face giving evidence in court.

In recent weeks, the charity has had confirmation of £176,000 in new funding.

Although the money does not cover the entire £250,000 annual cost of running services, it goes a long way towards securing the service for at least the next three years, says chief executive Abigail Finnegan.

The money includes £81,000 from the Henry Smith Charity over three years; £60,000 from the Francis C Scott Charitable Trust for the same period; £20,000 from Riverside, the social landlord; and an additional £15,000 from Cumbria County Council.

Ms Finnegan said: “This funding means that we have security over the next three years, which in these difficult times is fantastic news.

“We now know that we have the money we need to deliver essential support services. Last year we grew by 50 per cent, and one-third of our services are now delivered in the west of the county.

“This funding shows people recognise that there’s an acute need to help the most vulnerable people in society with high quality support services.

“It means we have the professional resources we need to tell clients that we will be there for them from start to finish.”

Last year, Safety Net worked directly with 147 children, young people and adults, 47 of them aged between three and 13. Of the remainder, 29 were between 14 and 19, and 20 were aged 20 to 25.

The remaining 51 were parents.

Ms Finnegan said that the charity has benefited from improved partner working with other agencies, though most – around 60 per cent – have sought the charity’s help themselves.

Safety Net has vowed to raise the profile of rape, sexual abuse and domestic abuse.

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