Funders

Key Funder Information

Choices are proud to be supported in our work by local commissioners and by regional and national grant-making trusts.

Whether you currently fund or are considering funding the preventative or lifeline services our charity provides, this section is for you.

Who we are

Choices was established in 1996 by a group of dedicated women recognising the plight of victims of domestic abuse and the lack of services available. Over the years Choices has proven itself as a creator of innovative projects and a learning organisation capable of meeting ever changing demands within the sector, in a way that is both flexible and service user-led.

We provide domestic abuse services to both adults and young people [hyper-link to professionals], as well as accommodation for vulnerable young women. Our work with young people additionally covers child sexual and child criminal exploitation.

We are also a critical partner to stakeholders in law-enforcement, health, social care, substance misuse, and many others offering advice and training side-by-side with our wider awareness-raising activities.

Why we exist

Domestic Abuse:

  • Will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime
  • Leads to, on average, two women being murdered each week and 30 men per year
  • Accounts for 16% of all violent crime (Source: Crime in England and Wales 04/05 report), however it is still the violent crime least likely to be reported to the police
  • Has more repeat victims than any other crime (on average there will have been 35 assaults before a victim calls the police)
  • Is the single most quoted reason for becoming homeless (Shelter, 2002)
  • In 2010 the Forced Marriage Unit responded to 1735 reports of possible Forced Marriages.
  • 3 in 4 girls and 1 in 10 boys experience harm in teenage relationships.
  • In addition, approximately 400 people commit suicide each year, who have attended hospital for domestic abuse injuries in the previous six months, 200 of these attend hospital on the day they go on to commit suicide.
  • 138,000 women and girls are living with FGM in the UK.
  • 160,000 children are living in households where domestic abuse is taking place – they are more likely to develop trauma related problems including PTSD, poor physical and mental health, underachievement at school, dysfunctional relationships, substance misuse and less favourable outcomes in adult life.
  • Some 60 per cent of female offenders have experienced domestic abuse, sexual exploitation and/or violence and their offending is more often than not as a direct result of their circumstances. An estimated 24 to 31 per cent have dependent children and are more than twice as likely to suffer issues around mental health, substance misuse, poverty and homelessness, as men. They are also at much greater risk of reoffending.
  • According to government figures, the overall cost of domestic abuse for 2016-17 in England and Wales was £66 billion pounds. Most extreme is the cost of domestic homicide, which amounts to £2.2 million. The government themselves acknowledge that these are likely to be an underestimate.

Our Impact 2017-18

Services Provided
  • Independent Domestic Abuse Advisor Services (IDVA)
  • Specialist LGBTQ+ services
  • Specialist Young Persons Violence Advisor service
  • Community Team (including Outreach, Helpline, Freedom Programme, Recovery Toolkit programmes, Money Skills, One Stop Shop attendance)
  • Accommodation Service for young people who become homeless as a consequence of domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation, sexual violence and family breakdown. This is a preventative model with the objective of providing safe space, resilience tools and housing support to reduce the risk of future abuse.
  • Children and Young People’s Service, offering one-to-one support, group work, prevention and awareness, healthy relationships and domestic abuse education programmes.
In the year 2017-18 we supported:
  • 831 high risk clients through our IDVA Services in Medway, North and West Kent.
  • 771 standard to medium risk clients through our Community Team in Medway, North and West Kent.
  • 2083 individuals assisted by our Helpline
  • 101 Male and/or LGBT victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
  • 46 complex needs cases through our Young Persons Violence Advisor.
  • 805 children and young people through our CYP team work with individuals and groups in schools and college programmes.
  • 10 young people supported through our accommodation service, addressing their specific needs, safety, emotional support and building resilience, life skills, confidence, self esteem and foundations for healthy relationships and independent living.
Outcomes
High-Risk Adults

As a result of our interventions:

  • 85% experienced a significant reduction in risk levels.
  • 94% experienced a significant reduction in fear levels
  • 93% experience improved emotional wellbeing
  • 94% reported an improved relationship with their children (where applicable)
  • 99% experienced more confidence in accessing appropriate services to manage their situations
  • 92% achieved financial stability
Standard or Medium Risk Adults

As a result of our interventions:

  • 95% felt more able to protect themselves and their children
  • 92% felt more hopeful for the future
  • 91% felt more able to deal with situations in a more positive, assertive manner
  • 96% felt they could identify abusive behaviour patterns and avoid unhealthy relationships in the future
  • 97% felt more confident as a result of the programme, support, and/or advice they'd received
  • 94% were more aware of the local services and options available to them
  • 92% felt less isolated
Young People

As a result of our interventions:

  • 100% were no longer direct victims of abuse
  • 95% felt appropriately equipped and resilient to remain safe
  • 70% experienced a significant reduction in risk
  • 80% demonstrated a reduction in risk-taking behaviour

What could you fund?

Core Funding

If you're a proactive trust researching your next project, then we are always interested in core funding if our work meets your funding priorities. Funding for administration, management and strategic staff goes a long way in our organisation and will allow us to make improvements throughout the charity.

Projects

You can find a full list of our active projects and the service areas they cover here. If your trust serves a given locality and one of our existing projects is not represented there, we would love to provide you with more information on programme aims, beneficiaries and outcomes, and to put a proposal together for you.

We have other successful projects for which we await further funding. These include:

  • Healthy Relationships programmes for 5-11 year-olds
  • Psychoeducational one-to-one programme for trauma-afflicted young people
  • Child sexual exploitation group for 11-18 year-olds.

You can reach us at info@choicesdaservice.org.uk

or call 01622 230726 and ask to speak with Alex Collier

Current Funders

The Brook Trust

We applaud the Brook Trust's current funding strategy to support victims of domestic and sexual abuse. (They additionally support early intervention programmes with chilcren and familes aiming to break cycles of social and economic deprivation and dysfunction).

They have been wonderful in helping us with core costs necessary to maintain provision of funded projects in the Maidstone and wider Kent areas.

Dartford Borough Council

Through grants provided by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), and along with Gravesham Borough Council (below) Dartford fund our Step Change project in North Kent.

Step Change will work with non-abusive parents and their children to both overcome domestic abuse and to reconnect where abuse has damaged their relationship.

Gravesham Borough Council

Gravesham and Choices have for many years enjoyed an excellent relationship. In addition to our Step Change project, above, Gravesham also fund as lead partner in Altogether Safer, our Choose Respect programme for young men and our out-of-hours early intervention work with Kent Police.

Gravesham Borough Council have additionally supported us with our hostel, most recently providing accessibility refurbishments allowing us to take in mobility-impaired service users.

Headstart Kent

Headstart fund iCan where we deliver one-to-one work with adolescent boys aged 14-16 years, affected by domestic abuse through their family or intimate relationships, are isolated with a limited support network and are presenting with behaviours linked to trauma such as anxiety, low mood, disengagement, risk taking behaviour or difficulty building relationships.

The service is delivered in partnership with fellow members of the Kent Domestic Abuse Consortium.

The Henry Smith Charity

The Henry Smith Charity currently fund our Young Person's Violence & Abuse Advisor (YPVA). This is a pivotal service providing young, high-risk domestic abuse victims (aged 13-17) with the advice, information, safety-planning and ongoing support and advocacy.

Kent County Council

Through their Early Help and Preventative Grants, Kent County Council fund a range of our Young Person's Services. New for 2019 will be our Child Criminal Exploitation Group, Stand Tall, and our Healthy Relationships programme, Like You.

Kent PCC

Kent PCC have provided us with two years funding for specialist male and LGBTQ+ workers. These have provided invalubale reach into communities our charity had not managed before.

Medway Council

We have delivered the Independent Domestic Violence Advisor Service on behalf on Medway for a number of years. We are pleased to say were recently successful in winning the tender for the Integrated Domestic Abuse Service for the Medway area and look forward to commencing this service from April 2019.

The Medway Domestic Abuse Service (MDAS), delivered in partnership with Centra, will make available preventative programmes, crisis-intervention, advocacy, and ongoing support to all victims of domestic abuse in Medway.

The National Lottery Community Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund (formerly the Big Lottery Fund) have funded our Community Project for the past 3 years, allowing us to grow and embed services including outreach and support programmes in Dartford, Gravesham and Maidstone.

They have additionally been so kind as to fund measures to update our IT security infrastructure which has allowed us to conduct more mobile working with secure and encrypted cloud services and hardware. Big Lottery additionally sponsor the PATH project in which Choices are partners.