CHARITY Changing Lives has been awarded more than £5,000 to help women who have experienced domestic abuse, sexual violence and other trauma in York.

The trauma groups at the Women’s Wellness Centre were close to capacity before lockdown and the extra funding has allowed the charity to increase staff hours and buy equipment to ensure everyone can still access trauma therapies remotely.

The money is part of the Ministry of Justice’s £76 million package of additional funding to help vulnerable victims through the Covid-19 pandemic and is being distributed by the country’s police and crime commissioners.

Debra Cowey, area manager at Changing Lives, said: “During lockdown the demand on the service has dramatically increased. The impact Covid-19 has had on the most vulnerable people in our society is devastating. We have seen an increase in sexual exploitation, sexual violence, physical violence, and domestic abuse during lockdown. It is extremely concerning.

“The financial support from the police and crime commissioner allowed us to increase staff on a temporary basis to cope with the increased demand for this provision."