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Going Over the Edge, Abseiling fundraiser

GOING OVER THE EDGE FOR EVE

The thought of going over the edge of Britain’s tallest lift tower standing at 400ft, on the 1st August 2015, won’t stop Sally-Ann who is determined to abseil down the structure in St. James’ square, Northampton in aid of EVE (formerly known as Nene Valley Christian Family Refuge).

Eve exists to help women and families caught up in domestic violence and abuse. Domestic abuse is still an issue in 21st Century Britain, and we are here to help. From raising awareness of domestic abuse and how to spot it, to running a women’s and family refuge in Northamptonshire or training professionals to work with victims and survivors, we are a multifaceted organisation determined to make a difference in the lives of thousands of women.

Sally-Ann, hopes that in taking on this challenge, with the support of her colleagues, friends and family, she will gain the sense of achievement that comes with doing something new and this great. More importantly, she hopes to raise valuable funds for the life changing work at Eve.

Another one of the participants, Stefanie, said, “I am participating as I think it will raise much needed money for a very worthy local cause, I don’t believe we can do enough to help a charity like yours. I bumped into your CEO at a networking breakfast a few weeks ago where she mentioned the event and I was inspired to sign up and take part.”

“For me this will be an exhilarating experience something my family will enjoy supporting me do. I am aiming to achieve £500 in sponsorship and will load my online giving site in the next couple of days.”

To support both Sally-Ann and Stefanie’s challenge, please visit https://www.goldengiving.com/charity/nvcfr and click ‘donate’ next to their names.

Further Information:

Eve’s abseiling event will be on the 1st of August 2015 at the National Lift Tower, Tower Square, Northampton NN5 5FH. We will also be running a family fun day in conjunction with the abseiling for supporting families and anyone else who would like to be part of a fun filled summer afternoon.

‘Thank You’ to our volunteers.

It’s National Volunteers Week and a great opportunity to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to all the amazing people who volunteer for Eve. Our volunteers do incredible things such as supporting in our Creche, maintenance, driving, supporting our events, supporting service users to take part in our activities, leading activities, admin and much, much more. We also have many volunteers across the county who collect donations of goods and bring them to us. So thank you all for all you do, we appreciate it.

We are seeking more volunteers to join our merry band, and are currently advertising for Trustees, Mentors, Befrienders and people who could help in our Charity and Vintage shops – there are lots of opportunities here, from sorting donations to on-line selling and even supervising. So if you have great interpersonal skills and are looking for something interesting to do with a great bunch of people for something that really matters, get in touch!

Why eve?

On Friday 15th May, 2015 Nene Valley Christian Family Refuge became Eve, but, “Why?” I hear you ask.  Christine Morgan, CEO explains more.

In the 8 months I have been CEO of Nene Valley Christian Family Refuge, I have learned so much about the effects of domestic violence and abuse on individuals and society. One thing I have learned is that domestic abuse is dynamic, it evolves, develops and progresses, and therefore our approach to it must be dynamic too, we must evolve, develop and progress our services and our responses to domestic violence and abuse to be able to meet its challenges and the needs of victims and survivors.

Part of our evolving is the Launch of Eve – Rebranding Nene Valley Christian Family Refuge.  We have been listening. Listening to people who tell us that the name Nene Valley Christian Family Refuge is cumbersome, confusing and does not say what we do. A few months ago I came into contact with a number of marketing and branding professionals who said they would work with us to help us rebrand. So, never an organisation to look a gift horse in the mouth, we came to the decision that ‘now’ is time to revitalise our image and brand. And so we are launching our new name, mission and brand. From now onwards we will be known as Eve, and will be known for Transforming Lives Affected by Domestic Abuse. Eve will be our working name; our legal name will continue to be Nene Valley Christian Family Refuge.

But why Eve?  Eve was the first woman. She was created by God out of Adam’s rib, next to his heart to be protected by him. She was created equal to Adam. Eve was the first daughter of the living God, she was the first wife and the first mother, and hers was the first family on earth.

Eve is ‘every woman’ and in fact, every human. Eve’s DNA exists in a direct, unbroken, maternal line, of all currently living humans, This is the most recent woman from whom all living humans today descend, in an unbroken line, on their mother’s side, and through the mothers of those mothers, and so on, back until all lines converge on one person.

The name Eve means ‘To breathe life’. As an organisation we want to breathe new life into lives affected by domestic abuse, so transforming those lives by engaging them in educational and therapeutic activities and interventions, helping survivors and their families to regain hope and develop the resilience and transformative skills they need to maintain their freedom and security.

It is our belief that ‘Transforming lives affected by domestic abuse’ requires us to:
• Enable and empower women and children to recognise and understand what abuse is and how they can choose to live lives free from abuse.
• Enable women to recognise and understand the effects of domestic violence and abuse on them and on their children.
• Raise awareness of domestic violence and abuse in the wider community – to open the eyes of family, friends, neighbours and colleagues to what might be happening behind closed doors.
• Raise awareness of the different cultural ways that women and girls are abused so that this too can be stopped and communities can be re-educated as to the real value of women in society.

So what about men?
While Eve’s primary services are to work with and for women and children who are survivors of domestic violence and abuse, Eve wants to and will work with men in the near future. Eve believes in family and therefore we believe in men. We are not anti-men and we want the women we work with to understand that they can achieve healthy relationships with loving, caring and supportive men if that is what they want.

 

Now, I wake up every morning looking forward to the day….

Northamptonshire mother tells how refuge rescued her from a ‘cage of ‘mental torture’ as husband abused their children

A mother of two has said she will “never forget” the support of a Northamptonshire family refuge that helped her to escape the “mental torture” of her marriage and her husband’s abuse of her children.

The woman, who the Chron has not named, shared her story and told how Nene Valley Christian Family Refuge gave her the support she needed to get a divorce and start her own business.

The refuge will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this weekend with a special service of thanksgiving and the launch of its new brand name.

The woman said: “I come from a Christian family and it wasn’t acceptable for me to separate from my husband, and everyone thought I was the bad person.
“At first he seemed nice and caring, but then I realised how controlling he was. He didn’t want me to go to work or university, he took complete control of all finances and demanded to know what I was doing at all times. I had no voice and could not make any decisions.”

She left her home and work with her husband, two children and step-child in the late 1990s, to move to Northampton, where she had few relatives and friends.

“Because of the money he paid my family for us to be married, he felt he owned me,” she said, “and it got worse because I didn’t have my mother there to talk to and support me.”

She explained how her husband forced her to quit her job and would check every day where she spent money and who she spoke to. When she tried to find work again, he blackmailed her by abusing their own children.

“He knew that hurting the children would hurt me, so he became violent towards them to make me behave myself,” she said. “For me it was mental torture, because I couldn’t explain it to anyone. I moved in with my sister but he manipulated my family against me.”

She came across the Nene Valley refuge three years ago while searching online in desperation for somewhere to take her children away from her husband.

“I had no-one else to turn to. When I spoke to them it was the first time anyone had ever believed in me – I couldn’t believe that someone was listening.”

Staff at the refuge arranged for temporary accommodation for her and her children in Wellingborough until there was space for them to be moved into the refuge. They offered her training, courses in finding freedom, and the legal advice which helped her settle a divorce, as well providing counselling for her children.

She has now moved into her own home, has started her own business, and works on-call for the refuge, answering the phone to women, like her, trying to escape abusive homes. She has also started a new relationship with someone who, she says, is supportive and treats her as an equal.

“The whole process helps you get away, regain confidence to build your own life, then to keep that confidence and avoid the same patterns happening again – it’s a full package. They don’t send you into the world until you can say yourself that you are ready, and even then you are always welcome back.

“I will never forget what they did for me,” she said. “There is something in their faces as if God has spoken to them, assuring you that everything will be okay. To meet other women who had been through something similar was eye-opening.

“Now I wake up every morning looking forward to the day. I’m free, and I’m not worried about anything. But without Nene Valley, I would still be locked in that cage.

“I wish the Government could realise how much places like these mean to many women and children and how, without them, the world would be a cruel place to live in. We need to stand together to get people out of these situations or they will just carry on.

“If just one person who is suffering in silence reads this and it encourages them to look for help, then it’s worth it.”

The refuge’s thanksgiving service will take place tomorrow, Friday, from 7.30pm at Abington Avenue United Reformed Church in Northampton, where past service users and staff will speak about the importance of work achieved over the last 30 years.

Earlier in the year, the refuge, which works in conjunction with Northampton Women’s Aid, benefitted from a share of £10 million extra funding supplied by the Government for women’s refuges, but no further support is guaranteed after March 2016.

By Francesca Gosling published 07:30 Wednesday 13th May 2015