Derby Women's Centre could close if £500k Big Lottery bid is not a success
A CENTRE that helps vulnerable women will have its future secured and introduce counselling for abusive men if a bid for £500,000 of lottery money is successful.
Derby Women's Centre's chief executive Yasmin Nazir said it would shut at the end of April after 35 years in operation if the cash doesn't arrive.
She said: "It would be sad for us as an organisation, but the real losers would be the women of the city and county."
But she said that, if the money is granted, the centre would bring in a service "unique" to the area where "perpetrators of domestic violence" will get counselling.
Mrs Nazir said: "The aim would be to prevent them from doing it again through counselling and anger management. We will try and get them to look at it from the victim's point of view.
"We take quite a lot of telephone calls from men on this subject and recently we had a man in his 30s coming into the centre asking for help."
The centre already provides a counselling service for vulnerable women, debt and legal advice, and programmes for females who have suffered domestic abuse.
Across Derbyshire, Mrs Nazir said about 7,500 people access its services, which are based at its offices in Leopold Street, Derby.
She said the application was for £500,000 from the Big Lottery over four years.
It would be enough to introduce the counselling for men and expand the service so help for women would be provided in Derby community centres, surgeries, and children's centres.
A decision on the funding bid will be made by the end of this month with the money available from the end of April, if successful. Mrs Nazir said the centre's £47,000 running costs for this financial year had also been paid for through Big Lottery funding, but this is running out.
She said it was positive that the latest bid for cash had reached the second stage of bidding.
A Big Lottery spokeswoman said she could not say anything further about the bid until a decision was made.
Between the start and end of April, the centre is planning to fund itself by selling advertising on its website.
Already onboard are tree surgeons Tree Hugger and Son Services, bookkeepers Abacus Belper and social media marketing firm SocialMyna. For more information phone 341633.