Women’s Aid Armagh Down (WAAD) have been providing 39 years of specialised domestic abuse services in Newry, Mourne and Down Council Area. The organisation began in 1983 as a response to the urgent need to provide vital support and accommodation to women, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse in the Newry, Mourne, South Down and South Armagh Area.
In 2013, they expanded their services into the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council Area and due to the continuous and urgent demand for their service the organisation has grown from a single drop-in office to a 25-bed refuge and very busy Women’s Resource Centres in Newry, Armagh and Portadown.
During 2020-2021, WAAD’s team of over 35 staff supported 1126 women and their children to access support services and the demand continues to escalate with waiting lists at times of over 200 women. A Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis carried out in 2021 on the social impact of WAAD’s services demonstrates that for every £1 invested in WAAD’s services there is a return of £22 of social impact achieved.
The demand for Women’s Aid services in the locality continues to rise year on year with demand continually outstripping the resources to provide urgent crisis support. Government statistics and research demonstrates that domestic and sexual abuse are now recognised as serious issues facing society.
Research carried out by WAAD on models of best practice from the UK, USA and Australia indicated that additional post crisis services could significantly reduce the financial and human cost of domestic abuse by reducing the level of re victimisation, the intergenerational legacy and the revolving door effect.
WAAD has assimilated the success factors from these models by using a co-production and co-design approach involving their service users, staff and key stakeholders in the development of a socially innovative programme, The ELEOS Programme.
ELEOS helps women attain stability and security, physical and mental wellbeing and personal development and growth. Support services are delivered in an empowering environment which will enable women and children to achieve safe, sustainable, financial independent. This is achieved by equipping them with the capacity and capabilities required to support them and their children over a longer period to overcome barriers and setbacks on the journey.
Address: 7 Downshire Place, Newry, BT34 1DZ
Telephone: 028 3025 0765