Sunderland-based project helping tackle domestic violence given £500,000 Lottery cash boost

Jackie Moulding from Barnardos, Kelly Henderson from Gentoo and Hazel Hedley from Impact Family Services.
Jackie Moulding from Barnardos, Kelly Henderson from Gentoo and Hazel Hedley from Impact Family Services.

A Sunderland-led project which aims to change the behaviour of domestic violence offenders has received a cash boost of almost £500,000.

The BIG Domestic Abuse Perpetrators Project has been awarded a £490,610 Lottery grant to continue working with abusive partners in the North East to get them to change their ways.

Lead by Sunderland-based charity Impact Family Services, the project is the result of a partnership with Barnardos, Wearside Women in Need and housing provider Gentoo.

In the last six months, the project has worked with more than 70 men and their families.

Impact Family Services CEO Hazel Hedley said: “Everyone who has been involved in the BIG project has worked hard to get it to be the success it has been.

“Winning this bid for nearly half-a-million-pounds will mean that the project now has a further lifetime of at least five years, and within that time scale we can reach out to help many more families.”

Michelle Meldrum, executive director at Gentoo said: “This funding will make a huge difference to victims of domestic violence. As a housing association our front-line staff are ideally placed to spot the signs of domestic abuse in our homes and protecting victims and their families is a big priority for us.

“The BIG Project has really helped us to further protect victims of domestic abuse, engaging the perpetrator in a programme that has supported them in making important changes to their behaviour. This funding will allow us to expand our service within the community, helping more and more people to feel safer.”