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Programme Action – Women’s Refuges

Celebrating 100 Years of Soroptimism 1921-2021


SI Sheffield has long-standing relationships with several women’s refuges in Sheffield. These refuges provide safe short term accommodation, care and basic necessities for women who flee their own homes, because of physical and mental abuse. We support the refuges with much needed resources and in turn increase our own understanding of the problems faced by the women who use the

Currently SI Sheffield works with two Sheffield refuges:

  • Sheffield Women’s Aid Refuge
  • Ashiana Women’s Refuge

Women’s Aid is a refuge for women and their children in need of a safe, supportive space to live after leaving abusive relationships.Women’s Refuges manage several houses where women not only find accommodation, but also advice and support, and the opportunity to make friends with women in similar situations. The Refuge also has a specialist children’s service with play areas and play workers to support children and mums during their time at the refuge. There is also a specialist counselling and therapy service for women who have experienced abuse or trauma,including rape or sexual abuse, emotional abuse or neglect, and domestic abuse.

Ashiana Women’s Refuge

Ashiana has nearly thirty years’ experience of working with Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee (BAMER) women and children arriving in Sheffield and recently arrived from all over the world, fleeing domestic and sexual abuse and abuse within a range of multiple perpetrator systems such as forced marriage,human trafficking, gang violence and ‘honour’-based violence. Ashiana has a vast body of experience of supporting women suffering the effects of recent and lifelong trauma, from widely different religious, linguistic and geographical communities and experiences and confronted with sharing intimate living spaces at points of crisis and potential breakdown in their lives.

Although the refuges do receive a certain amount of government funding, a large amount of the resources required are provided by charitable giving. When the women arrive at the refuges they usually have nothing with them, not even basic toiletries or sanitary items. SI Sheffield collects useful “starter” and “survival” items, as well as basic clothes and toys for the children, at each of their monthly meetings and delivers the boxes with donated goods to the refuges’ offices once a month. We have arranged for representatives from the two organisations to come along and talk to our club members, so that we can learn about the valuable work they do. There are also volunteering opportunities at each of the refuges which several club members have taken up.

Programme Action Officer; SI Sheffield