Freedom from domestic abuse
Founded in 1985 as North Derbyshire Women’s Aid, Chesterfield’s first women’s refuge was opened. Now, operating as the Elm Foundation it has provided a safe haven for 100’s of women, men and children from all over the UK, suffering domestic abuse.
4.2% of men will experience domestic abuse at some time in their lives, whilst the figure is almost doubled for women, with one woman killed on average every three days.
Domestic abuse takes on many forms including physical, psychological, emotional, sexual and financial abuse.
The Elm Foundation represents a safe, welcoming, supportive place for any man, woman, or child affected by domestic abuse. They are a charitable organisation, who operates outside of the statutory sector (police, social services) offering an independent, confidential service to both male and female clients.
The Elm Foundation has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1985 and offers an extensive range of services, all free at the point of access:
Three women’s refuges, taking up to 22 women and their children
One male refuge providing accommodation for three men and their children
An advice centre open for drop-ins and a dedicated support line
Solicitor and CAB appointments
Therapeutic services: counselling, mindfulness, Reiki and art therapy for children and adults
Community outreach team covering North Derbyshire
Like most things in life, prevention is better than cure, so the team at the Elm Foundation is on a mission to educate our future generations. With a comprehensive school programme, work focuses on safety within relationships, online activity, improved self-esteem, and confidence, as well as educating young people about what constitutes abuse and how to keep safe. Through education and awareness, the Elm Foundation aims to reduce the number of cases of domestic violence and support our young people who fall victim to it.
We asked Helen Mitchell – Head of Operations at the Elm Foundation, what the future holds for her and the team? She had this to say:
"For the future, we are looking at providing a service to ‘ young people who harm’. This is to provide sessions to both the young person and working with the family, to address the early abusive behaviours. We will be expanding our work in schools (COVID permitting) to raise awareness of healthy relationships and offering sessions to focus on the most vulnerable.
We will be looking, if funding allows, to increase our domestic abuse awareness-raising with health care providers and local groups and businesses."
The Elm Foundation's funding is limited and they rely heavily on donations from the selfless communities of Chesterfield.
If you would like to volunteer and/or donate, please contact the team.
You can also donate by text: just text ELM followed by the amount you wish to donate e.g
ELM 3 to 70470 will donate £3
ELM 5 to 70470 will donate £5
Texts cost £3 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £3 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text ELMNOINFO 3 to 70470