LGBTQ+ charity which supports domestic abuse survivors faces budget cuts

The charity is facing budget cuts. (RISE/Facebook)

An LGBTQ+ charity which supports domestic abuse survivors is facing proposed budget cuts from Brighton and Hove Council. 

RISE, a refuge which supports those in the community with multiple disadvantages and provides wellbeing support for women and children, said that the three services they run under a contract from the council are at risk of loss.

The charity said via a press release that they are at risk of losing funding of £130,000 a year in the proposed Brighton and Hove Council budget. “It funds housing support for the LGBT Community, young families living in refuge and help for women with complex needs.”

Due to the proposed cuts starting mid-year, the organisation said it would be “impossible” to fundraise and apply for grant funding to bridge gaps. “This is news every charity dreads,” the release read.

The charity reported that they were able to help 41 survivors through the RISE LGBT Dispersed Refuge service, of which 12 identified as transgender, and 41% had more than one disability. In the same year, 21 adults and 31 children were helped through therapeutic support by the RISE In-Reach team.

The charity is now calling on local council leader Bella Sankey and Brighton and Hove City Council to allow the organisation to ring-fence funding until alternative opportunities arise. 

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“We understand that councils up and down the country are having to make very difficult decisions,” they wrote. “Many councils (Hampshire, Portsmouth, Cambridgeshire, Hull, Herefordshire, Derbyshire, Nottingham City and Liverpool) have opted to honour their commitments and the funding has been ring-fenced, as promised, until March 2025.”

The charity also called on readers to write to their local Councillor before the cut-off date on 22 February to appeal the decision. 

“We are not asking for any special exemptions to cuts – only that the Council follows the example of other Councils in honouring its commitments and giving RISE the room to save valued and necessary services.

“We want to show the Council just how valued these services are and so we are asking our community to act now – email your local councillor, come to the meeting at 4.30, Hove Town Hall on the 22nd February to show your support.”

Councillor Taylor, who leads on finance for Labour, said to Brighton and Hove News: “RISE continue to be a hugely important and valued partner for the council in this vitally important service area.

“It is worth noting that RISE currently holds a budget of £317,640 from council funding, the majority of which is unimpacted by these budget proposals.”

If you’re experiencing sexual abuse or violence in a relationship, call RISE on 01273 622 822 in Brighton and Hove 9.30 am-12.30 pm Monday and Tuesday, or Wednesday between 5-7 pm. If you’re based outside these areas, call 0808 500 2222 anytime.