Friday May 20, 2022

Gloucester charity faces being left homeless

A leading Gloucestershire domestic abuse charity may be looking for a new home within three to six months. It is thought that health and safety fears may drive them out of their current centre on Masefield Road, Podsmead.

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The charity called Bundles was established with the aim of helping families escape from abusive domestic situations and it provides bundles of goods for families whose lives are in crisis.

Help for domestic abuse victims

The charity’s trustee, Dawn Dolphin, recounts how the five-year tenancy which was granted last July is no longer in place and the organisation has been served notice to vacate the premises. She describes how disruptive and unsettling this will be for the charity.

According to the BBC, 1.8 million people aged 16-59 were a victim of domestic abuse in the year ending March 2016 and 1.2 million of these were female. Only 100,930 cases resulted in a prosecution.

This particular charity helps around 300 families a year and this help may now be under threat. During busy periods they can receive eight referrals in one morning.

Fire safety concerns

Buildings such as the one occupied by the charity need to comply with health and safety regulations. This ensures the safety of staff and clients and includes compliance with fire safety legislation.

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A Gloucester fire risk assessment is a thorough survey of the building to ensure it meets with current fire safety guidelines. They are carried out by experts such as, an independent fire protection service.

A representative of Gloucester City Homes, Michael Hill, said that because of the items now stored at the premises there were significant fire safety concerns. As a responsible landlord, they were forced to take immediate action. As an emergency measure, Gloucester City Homes is helping the charity to move some of their stock into a separate storage facility. However, this is only a temporary measure, and in the long-term, the charity will need alternative accommodation in suitable premises.

In the meantime, the charity will not be collecting donations for its emergency bundles and will be actively seeking a new home so that it can continue with its vital work. It requires a building which is 1000 square feet and is secure. The building would preferably be in Gloucester with good parking and access for drop-offs and pick-ups.

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