New look for renovated refuge

Published: 8th July 2024
Look Ahead has used funds awarded by the London Community Foundation to renovate our East London Refuge.

Renovations at a Look Ahead domestic abuse refuge in East London are now complete. The refuge provides specialist emergency, short-term accommodation — usually lasting six months — to 15 women and their children, who are at risk of and/or fleeing domestic abuse.

Ensuring these residents feel comfortable and welcome in their spaces at the service is of paramount importance to us.

To that end, Look Ahead used funds awarded by the London Community Foundation to make the service’s flats more homely environments that better accommodate the emotional and psychological needs of residents and support their recovery.

Among other improvements, we put the funding towards:

  • Hiring contractors to paint and decorate all 15 flats at the refuge.
  • Furnishing the flats with new flooring, sofas, rugs, storage units, bunk beds, and cots.
  • Buying toys, games, beanbags, and sports equipment for children living at the service to enjoy.

After the improvements, residents reported feeling happier and more grounded, ‘this flat feels more like home’ a customer said.

We also spent some of the money on purchasing two sewing machines, and other additional equipment, which one customer used to teach her fellow residents to sew and make their own soft furnishings and decorations.

She said: ‘I have found great joy and fulfilment in teaching sewing to others’ and added that ‘making items like cushion covers gave me a sense of achievement and ownership over my living space.’

The refurbishments have already had a fantastic impact and are continuing to increase the quality of life for the people we support at the refuge. We would like to offer our sincere thanks to the London Community Foundation for making this possible.