Plymouth Women's Refuge receive £55k from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, the Freemasons' Charity

Saturday, 12 December 2020

Trevi began operating in 1993 and now has three service centres in Plymouth known as 'Jasmine Mother’s Recovery', 'The Sunflower Women’s Centre' and 'The Daffodil Family Centre' during this time they have helped transform the lives of thousands of women and their children

Trevi was born from the desire of four drug and alcohol workers (including the late Roma French, mother of Dawn French) in Plymouth to create a unique environment for women and their children experiencing drug and alcohol misuse issues to grow and create positive futures.

In January 2018, Trevi was the subject of a BBC Panorama Programme: “Addicted: Last Chance Mums”. This was a fantastic opportunity for them to showcase and shout about their work on a national scale.

Trevi provides safe and nurturing spaces for women and their children in recovery from childhood trauma, addiction, mental ill health and domestic abuse. They run a residential rehabilitation centre, a women’s centre in the community and a residential parenting assessment centre. Pre Covid-19 150 women accessed the Sunflower Women’s Centre each week nearly half of them have children. The centre is a safe place where they can attend accredited courses in parenting or recovery support, gain new skills and build their confidence to help them move on with their lives.  

Trevi now supports more than 550 women and children every year.

At a recent socially distanced meeting, Nick Ball, Deputy Provincial Grand Master for Devonshire together with the Charity Steward Dr. Reuben Ayres presented Hayley Dann with a certificate denoting the £55,931 which will fund a support worker for three years. This person will support the children and their mother to overcome the trauma they have experienced. They will oversee the child contact centre where children can spend time with one or both parents in a comfortable and safe environment. This support hopefully reduces the likelihood of the child being taken into care and also helps to ensure the child lives in a healthy and stable environment.

Nick said that Freemasonry recognised the importance of the work being done to protect women in crisis at Trevi and we want to be able to help them continue long into the future.

When replying Hayley Dann said: 'We are extremely grateful to the Masonic Charitable Foundation, the Freemasons' Charity and the Devonshire Freemasons for this wonderful donation. It really means a lot to the entire Trevi team, particularly at this hugely challenging time. Sadly every 16 minutes another child is taken into care in the UK and there is a record number of children in care. Repeated removals are causing a huge strain on care services yet, little is being done to address the root cause and break the cycle. It is also likely due to the pressures that the pandemic has brought upon society, that the figures will show an even bleaker picture as we go into next year. Our team works tirelessly to ensure that women and children are given the opportunity to stay together and we are passionate about children getting the best start in life.  This fantastic donation will be invested in a Family Support Worker at our Sunflower Women’s Centre - someone who can also work alongside mothers to help them be the best they can be. We look forward to reporting on the success of this three year project and the difference that this donation is able to make.'

The grant from Devonshire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

In response to the extraordinary need created by the coronavirus pandemic, Freemasonry is providing special funding of £2.75 million for projects helping those who are particularly affected by the virus. This extra money comes on top of the estimated £45 million given to charity every year by Freemasons.

Case study – a lady called Lila:

Lila and her son have been supported by the Sunflower Women’s Centre over the past few months. Lila has attended many of the courses including Power Parenting – which despite already having 2 older grown children, she found a great support and learnt a great deal; she has also attended courses including Heal, Thrive and Love Drug. She’s received lots of support and knows that Sunflower is always there if she needs. As a consequence, Lila now feels much more confident about her parenting skills, she’s been able to see her anxiety in a different light and has been able to work on herself to move forward in life. She says: 'Sunflower has been an amazing support – it builds you up so you can move forward in life.'

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