The newly appointed Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Michael Edwards, has chosen Nottingham Central Women’s Aid (NCWA) as his Charity of the Year due to his instrumental involvement in reopening the refuge in 2011 and his continued support of the charity.
NCWA provides refuge and support services for women and children fleeing domestic abuse. Established in the 1970’s, NCWA was shut down due to government funding cuts in 2010. The staff, facing closure of the refuge which was full at the time, contacted local Councillor’s Sue Johnson and Mike Edwards to see what could be done. A meeting was arranged very quickly to talk about the lease of the building where the refuge is housed and how it could be managed going forward. Mandy Mellor, co-founder of the charity, also approached MP Chris Leslie to get involved. The group were successful in securing the lease and the refuge reopened in January 2011. Staff worked voluntarily before securing funding and within three days of opening all the rooms were full.
Mandy said ‘Mike has been very supportive of NCWA since our first meeting. He believed in us and has been a key player in our development. I’ve called him day and night for advice and help from parking permits to activities for the children in refuge. He is a great advocate for our charity and a keen networker. Mike has even signposted and worked with women who have approached him who are experiencing domestic abuse so he really understands the work we do”
Mike added “Nottingham Central Women’s Aid are my “Lord Mayor’s Charity” for 2017/18 because what they do matters, because they do it well and because we’ve worked together. Previous Lord Mayor’s have chosen several charities to support, however I have just chosen NCWA to dedicate my time and fundraising to. I will be opening and supporting several of their fundraising events including a Charity Gig on 18th August and a Charity Ball later this year’.
The continuation and development of NCWA services has a lifelong, positive impact on the lives of all the women and children who access our service. Our aim is to provide them with the support, education and skills to continue moving forward in their lives, overcoming the abuse and violence they have previously endured, becoming well-balanced, happy individuals living Free from Fear.