UK's first Ending Violence Against Women and Girls hub opens in Lancashire

The first UK hub dedicated to Ending Violence Against Women and Girls has opened in Lancashire.

The Emily Davison centre brings together specialists and six local and national charities, all under one roof.

It means those affected by exploitation or domestic abuse can reach multiple areas of support at one site - preventing victims "being bounced around from pillar to post" in search of the right form of help.

The centre will allow experts in the field to work together to end violence against women and girls.

One of the founders says this collaborative approach prevents victims being "re-traumatised" by having to recount their experiences to multiple people in multiple places.

Amanda Elwen said: "We found that women and girls were being asked to retell their stories over and over again. Having every service under one roof means there's one front door where people can come and get the advise and support they need."

We know that domestic abuse impacts on many areas of people's lives, from their employment, their education, their housing. What we're trying to do is make sure we have services for people when they're in crisis, but also when they're ready to recover.

Amanda Elwen, The Emily Davison Centre
The centre was officially opened by domestic abuse campaigner John Clough MBE.

As well as providing services to women and children in need in Lancashire, the centre will also be a space where national experts can share knowledge and best practice approaches.

It's not been done anywhere before. Most charities tend to stay in isolation, this is a new way of working that brings a lot of benefits for professionals. There's a real transfer of knowledge, and when we get people coming to the centre we can understand what they really need, and find the right people to do the right work at the right time.

Debbie Fawcett, The Emily Davison Centre

The centre is also exploring ways of future-proofing their funding.

Conference facilities and a cafe will generate revenue to go back into the charity, and be a place when people escaping domestic abuse can train in hospitality and other career opportunities.