Three people around a table eating food

Richmond Council fund Women’s Hub to support survivors of violence and build community

Voices of Hope and Vineyard Community Centre have launched a weekly women’s hub in partnership with Richmond Council who will fund the survivors space for a year.

The 11am-2:30pm hub allows women to partake in the Sisterhood Sanctuary and the Sisterhood Choir beforehand if they wish to do so.

Afterwards they can have a vegetarian meal and receive care from professionals including a support worker from charity Glassdoor, an artist, a psychotherapist, and a monthly nurse.

Fiona Brennan, Operations Manager of Vineyard Community said: “The space is a safe environment. No men are allowed.”

Brennan explained that through funding and an extensive volunteer team, whatever the women need the charity can offer.

A successful Kingston hub is the inspiration for the new opening of the space for survivors of domestic violence and complex insecurities.

Neeraja Jyothikumar, Richmond Women’s Hub Coordinator expanded: “We don’t ask for names, if you’re a woman and you think this is a place for you, you can come along.

“We don’t ask for history as most women have experienced this in some form.”

One in three women worldwide will experience violence by an intimate partner whilst one in four women in England and Wales will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

Vineyard Community, an accessible space which incorporates Richmond Foodbank and other crisis drop-ins ensures that male volunteers have left for the 11am start for women who have experienced any form of violence or are in times of crisis.

Candice Roggeveen, Operational Director of Voices of Hope believes that the complex needs of these women are currently not being met.

She said: “Most women who come along will have experienced something that no human being should ever have to experience.

“The hub allows a beauty and a power in women coming together, bolstering each other up.

“It’s important to listen to women and what they want.”

Roggeveen hopes the warm non-threatening space will allow women to regain their voice through female-led support and former participants who now volunteer.

Looking to the future, she hopes to enable greater community connection through partnerships with GP surgeries, prescribing organisations, wellbeing and health charities.

She hopes the referral pathway will go both ways.

A 39-year-old participant of the hub who remains anonymous for her safety explained her need for the service whilst feeling frustrated at her situation of having a masters degree and to still be struggling.

She explained: “It’s impossible, we need help. I really need that support to get back on my feet, help with my life, to survive.

“It’s been a year. I can’t do this anymore. I want a better quality of life not just survival.

“I am grateful to have this place, it’s like home but living dependent on someone else’s kindness, it shouldn’t be that way.”

The graduate spoke out in the hope of informing other women who may be hesitant to ask for help that they are not alone.

Richmond councillor Katie Mansfield, spoke of the increase in demand for these services.

She said: “There are pandemic levels of problems in violence against women and girls.”

As the council is a White Ribbon accredited organisation they are committed to preventing violence against women.

Although the hub was not in the VAWG 2022-2025 strategy, it will be funded by the council for a year.

Mansfield stated: “Domestic violence goes up at times of financial stress.

“This isn’t something the council can solve on its own, or the politicians can solve on their own, it must come from the roots of the community.

“The sisterhood choir, sanctuary and hub bring in that camaraderie between women and that ability to support each other through times of difficulty.

“We are starting to see the power within Richmond, and we are at the forefront.”

If you want to find out more information about the hub or refer someone please visit:

Feature Image Credit: Voices of Hope

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