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Information about Women's Aid East and Midlothian

Women's Aid East and Midlothian is a charity that supports women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, campaigns to raise awareness of this issue and supports other domestic and sexual violence services throughout the area.

The organisation started out in 1979 as an unincorporated organisation and registered Scottish Charity. Originally the small team operated with the use of only one refuge, offering shared accommodation. We are now in our thirtieth year and have developed the service considerably.

We have two Crisis Centres, one in Dalkeith and another in Penicuik. We offer a drop-in service, support and crisis telephone line and one to one appointments at these offices. We have three refuges in Midlothian, one self contained four bedroomed flat for larger families, one large house with shared accommodation for up to four families and a large purpose built refuge for up to five families or single women in five self contained flats, one with disabled access. Both the large refuges have landscaped gardens with play equipment. We also offer an outreach support service for women living in their own accommodation.

We offer information, advice and advocacy services to our service users and continually strive to improve and develop. We are also involved in a variety of research projects. We have a strong commitment to quality working and a vision to keep the issue of domestic abuse at the forefront of stakeholder’s minds.

The organisation originally worked as a ‘collective’ whereby all staff were part of the management team. More recently the organisation became a limited company and re-structured accordingly. We now have a senior management team of four. These managers are members of the board of the directors and manage the organisation operationally. The new incorporated status has given the organisation added stability and we benefit from the advice of our trustee directors who guide the organisation and input into long term strategic decision making.

Our services are structured around the four Ps of domestic abuse:

  • PROTECTION

    By influencing laws, policy and practice and working in partnership with key national and local agencies.

  • PREVENTION

    By raising public awareness and developing education programmes.

  • PROVISION

    By providing services needed to help abused women and children.

  • PARTICIPATION

    By challenging the disadvantages which result from domestic violence and by promoting cohesive inter-agency responses to domestic violence.