“WE’RE back in business” - that’s the message from a domestic violence charity which has fought through a funding crisis to see a major relaunch last week.
Twelve months ago, the Make a Better Life (MABL) trust had been plunged into disarray following cuts to its local government funding.
With a desperate shortage of cash and the loss of its Chelmsley Wood premises, there were fears that the trust could close altogether.
But thanks to the support of the local community and a grant from the Fair Share Trust, the charity has survived and is now preparing to reopen its helpline.
Volunteers are being trained to man the phones and the service, for people trapped in abusive relationships, will resume on April 23.
MABL chairman Jan Rudge, from Hockley Heath, said: “Domestic violence is something that people feel very strongly about.
“Even when we were unable to keep the helpline going, there was so much support and generosity from local groups.
“Our message is that we’re a Solihull service for Solihull people and that we help men as well as women.”
A launch attended by both the borough’s MPs and the Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Irene Chamberlain, took place at the Holiday Inn last Friday.
Elaine Butler, a MABL trustee and Solihull magistrate, said that help for people in abusive relationships had never been more crucial.
“What we see is only the tip of the iceberg, we have no idea how many cases are going on and don’t even get reported.
“And then there’s the fact that many people go through years of abuse, dozens of incidents, before they have the courage to leave.
“Often they believe the excuses and apologies from their partner, who keep telling them it will never happen again.”