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How do you operate the refuge service?

Women’s Aid East and Midlothian can provide temporary accommodation for up to 10 women and 15 children at any one time. The accommodation we have ranges from a shared house where women and their children have their own room and share amenities like the kitchen and bathroom through to self contained flats that have a security system in place to keep residents safe. We have one specially designed home for a wheelchair user that has been adapted for ease of living.

The refuge works on a first come first served basis. Someone might be 'ready to ‘move’ but there might not be a space through Women’s Aid East and Midlothian. If this is the case we can contact Edinburgh East or West Lothian and see if there are any places that might be suitable for them. We don’t just admit people to a new place to live. Before anyone will be considered for a place they have to go through an assessment process with a skilled worker. This involves getting to know you and your families needs and checking to see that we can offer something suitable. If there is a suitable space the worker will arrange ‘admission’, this means showing how everything works in the space i.e. gas, electricity, locks and any equipment. We provide a tenancy agreement that sets out the terms of living in refuge, this will include things like how much rent to pay. If benefits are received, help in completing a new benefits form can be given. The first couple of weeks are really important when making a big move. We try to provide the support needed, it might be a cuppa and a chat or more practical help like sourcing clothes and a toothbrush. We are here to make this as easy as possible and will try to offer support without taking any control away from an individual. In some cases not much support may be wanted and that is OK too. If you want to know more about how refuge works you can give us a call on the support line (0131 561 5800) between 9am-2pm week days where we will answer any questions. We will not give out the address of the refuge accommodation though; this is to ensure the safety of all women that make use of our services