Abuse helpline set to close as contract goes elsewhere

A HELPLINE set up to help victims of domestic abuse in Portsmouth will be shutting down at the end of the month after the contract was handed out elsewhere.

Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 5:00 am
Shonagh Dillon

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.

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CEO Shonagh Dillon said: ‘There will be a new service setting up in the city.

‘We want to celebrate the volunteers and the great work they have done over the past few years.

‘There are 23 volunteers who all man the phones to create a 24-hour service for victims and survivors to come forward.

‘We were really lucky to get funding for a helpline in the first place and there is absolutely no negativity about what has happened.’

But Shonagh says that the real heroes are the ones on the other end of the phone who come forward with problems.

She said: ‘We have always been astounded by the fact that people have trusted us enough to come forward about abuse.

‘It is hard to speak to anyone when you are suffering from domestic abuse, so to be able to provide that service to so many people has been a genuine privilege to the organisation.’

Aurora New Dawn will still be providing other services in the area.

‘We still have all of our other services like our stalking services and armed forces advocate, so we will still be active in the community.

‘We will make sure that anyone who is referred to us is aware of the new service, when it is made available, so survivors will still get a good service.

‘We wish the new contractors all the best of luck and are delighted that people have trusted us with something so personal and intimate.’