Loss of funding forces Portsmouth domestic abuse helpline to shut

Shonagh Dillon, chief executive of domestic abuse charity Aurora New Dawn.''Picture: Sarah Standing
Shonagh Dillon, chief executive of domestic abuse charity Aurora New Dawn.''Picture: Sarah Standing
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A HELPLINE set up to help victims of domestic abuse in Portsmouth will be shutting down at the end of the month due to a lack of funding.

Aurora New Dawn, based in Havant, will be closing its out-of-hours helpline on March 31.

It has been running since 2012 and on average, the service offers support to around 400 clients each year.

Despite the cuts and the helpline closure, the charity will continue to support as many victims as it possibly can.

Operations manager Zoe Jackson posted on Twitter and said: ‘Gutted to be losing our out of hours helpline.

‘Huge thanks to every single one of our volunteers, for giving their time over the last six years, and for helping so many. ‘You are all stars.’

In all, nearly 2,500 people have been supported by the helpline.

Posting on its Facebook page, Aurora New Dawn said: ‘The helpline has been in place since 2012, initially covering wider Hampshire.

‘Due to different contracts the service has undergone substantial change in that time.

‘For the last three years we have been delivering an out of hours service for Portsmouth only and on average we support around 400 clients a year for the Portsmouth only service.

‘Without the dedication of the amazing volunteers for this service we would never have been able to reach as many survivors as we have.

‘Their commitment and passion to making a difference is invaluable to us.

‘We want to also thank the funders who have supported this service over the years.

‘But most importantly we want to thank every single survivor who has trusted us on the end of the phone at a time when they were frightened, alone and yet still had the courage to confide in us.’