FUNDRAISING NEWS: Women's Aid to widen range of supporters

LUCY MAGGS & ANNIE KELLY

Domestic violence charity Women's Aid Federation of England plans to diversify its fundraising base to include more individual and corporate giving.

The charity has employed a new fundraising officer, Ellie Smithson, to oversee this drive. The majority of funding at present comes from trusts and statutory services.

The charity's campaign will highlight the fact that domestic violence affects one in four women. It hopes to make businesses recognise the impact that domestic violence has on both employees and employers to attract their support. Judith Rees, fundraising co-ordinator at Women's Aid, said: "This is an issue that will affect everyone."

However, the sensitive nature of the subject means that the charity will pitch the campaign at particularly innovative companies, Rees added.

The organisation is also investigating the possibility of introducing a patron's programme.

"We are hoping to raise awareness of domestic violence as an issue, as well as raising funds for the charity,

said Rees. Women's Aid also hopes to recruit individual supporters as volunteers.

The organisation has received a £750,000 grant over three years from the Ruben and Elisabeth Rausing Trust. This will support a 24-hour national domestic violence helpline, a public awareness programme supporting local refuge services, and a regional survey to identify gaps in domestic violence service provision.

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