20 December 2017

Sheffield’s domestic abuse helpline has won a national award for the impact it has in helping its callers.

The helpline, which is open seven days a week and over the Christmas period (apart from the Bank Holidays), won third place in the category: “Best Helpline Sector Contributor” at the Helplines Partnership’s annual Helpline Awards. The domestic abuse helpline takes more than 2,500 calls each year from people across the city. Most callers are women, but men also use the helpline, as do people who are non-English speakers.

Sheffield City Council funds the helpline which is managed by charity Action.

Angela Toulson, Head of Domestic Abuse Services at Action, said: “We’re really pleased and proud to have won an award recognising the impact our helpline is having in helping people in situations where they are experiencing abuse from a partner, ex-partner or family member.

“We receive a number of calls throughout the year, many of which are from people who find themselves in an abusive situation not knowing where to go or what to do.

“The domestic abuse helpline is here to help give advice and help people take action, or support them to manage the situation they are in. We are there to support all callers from victims of abuse, family members, friends, professionals, and are a gateway to accessing specialist support, advice and guidance.”

Sheffield’s domestic abuse helpline is open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm on weekends. It is also open on week days over the Christmas period from 8am to 6pm, except on Bank Holidays.

The helpline is staffed by specialist workers who listen and offer advice and information about the services and choices available to people. They have access to interpreters for people who do not have English as a first language and provide advice to agencies who are aware that someone they’re working with is experiencing domestic abuse.

Call 0808 808 2241 (free phone) for confidential advice. Or email help@sheffielddact.org.uk

Councillor Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety at Sheffield City Council, said: “The helpline operators do a hugely important job and I’m delighted that their work has been nationally recognised.

“No-one should have to endure domestic abuse but sadly it affects many people. We fund the helpline as we don’t want people suffer alone, but have somewhere to go to for confidential, free advice and support. We also offer one-to-one support and have women’s refuges where women can escape to, if that is what they need.

“Hopefully people will have a peaceful Christmas but the helpline is here over the holidays, and throughout the year, for those that need it.”

The Helpline Awards recognise the achievements of helplines that deliver a quality service to vulnerable people when they need help the most. Visit www.helplines.org for more information.