Time is running out for Doncaster charity

Doncaster Women's Aid campaigners protest outside the Mansion House in Doncaster.

Doncaster Women's Aid campaigners protest outside the Mansion House in Doncaster.

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Doncaster Women’s Aid could be forced to close next week unless it can find new funding.

The charity has been receiving funding from the Big Lottery for three years but has failed to get any more money.

It has launched a crowdfunding bid to stave off the threat of closure on March 31.

However, Women’s Aid has distanced itself from campaigners’ criticism of Doncaster Council over cuts to its domestic abuse services.

Jane Thompson-Brierley, chief executive of Doncaster Women’s Aid, said: “Doncaster Women’s Aid would like to point out that we have not sanctioned the currently running campaign about cuts to our domestic abuse services.

“We know that a lot of organisations have experienced council funding cuts but this is not the case for us.

“The local authority has been and continues to be very supportive of our recent funding difficulties.

“We can confirm that we are experiencing funding issues and if this cannot be resolved the organisation may have to close its doors on March 31, 2016.

“We have been very fortunate to have been funded by the Big Lottery for the last three years.

“However, this funding is due to come to end in March/April 2016 and we have been unsuccessful in securing further funding to keep the service running. We hope that a solution can be found.”

A campaign has now been launched on the www.crowdfunder.co.uk crowdfunding website which hopes to raise £90, 000.

Doncaster Council said it has more than doubled the money it provides to the service in recent years.

The council said a campaign to save the charity had raised concerns that the authority has removed funding from the service.

The authority also said it has been claimed lottery funding for Doncaster Women’s Aid was linked to council funding and that this link has been lost leading to the withdrawal of lottery money.

The council added: “Both of these statements are incorrect. Funding for domestic abuse services in Doncaster through the Safer Stronger Doncaster Partnership has more than doubled since 2010/11 from £458,930 to more than £1m.”

The authority says it has also recently secured £3m to tackle domestic abuse and Women’s Aid was contracted by the council to run domestic abuse services until 2013 when a tendering process took place and a new provider was appointed.

Women’s Aid did not tender to run the perpetrator programme in 2014.

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