Life in Refuge

The information below is to help you understand what to expect when you go into refuge

What to expect

During your stay in refuge, you will be offered a furnished en-suite bedroom plus the shared use of the communal facilities including:

  • Residents’ lounge          
  • Laundry room  
  • Kitchen
  • Playroom          
  • Homework room
  • Garden

It is important for you to understand that on arrival, to be able to fully support and protect you we need to register you, this will entail some paperwork however we will endeavour to do this as quickly as possible. You will be asked for pieces of information to complete documentation that will support you during your stay. This information will be kept strictly confidential and will include your personal details, any immediate dangers or injuries, other services being accessed, emergency contacts and any legal issues. Housing Benefit, welfare benefits forms will also need to be completed to ensure your stay is financially supported and financially independent.

When you have completed your paperwork, we will show you to your room and show you around the refuge so you can become familiar with the communal areas. We will introduce you to other women and children who you will be living with. You will be expected to prepare your own meals. Sometimes the women decide to cook and eat together at meal-times. It will be up to you to decide whether you want to be sociable and join in with the others or whether you prefer to do things on your own.

Personal Support Plan

Your Support Worker will work with you to create a Personal Support Plan. You will have an opportunity to discuss your needs and set your own goals so that an achievable action plan can be created. We will discuss the range of support services that we offer and what you can do yourself. We will refer you to appropriate services, which can help you to achieve your goals. Your plan is confidential but you can see it whenever you like. We may need to share information in it with other agencies or get information from them but we will always do this in a confidential manner that protects your rights to privacy.

We will work with you to assess your needs and risks on a regular basis. Your support worker will arrange a review meeting with you or you can request a meeting at anytime. The results of any risk assessments, reviews and other relevant information are fully discussed and completed with you and are maintained in your Personal Support Plan. This is a way of making plans that will help us to keep you and other people safe in refuge. If your Support Worker is not available another Haven worker can access your Plan to ensure you get the right level of support. You will be offered a copy of your support plan to keep for your records.

You rights and responsibilities

Refuges have their own policies and procedures. There is a code of conduct in place to help us run things smoothly.  Your support worker will go through these with you. You will be entitled to certain rights whilst in refuge and these are usually balanced balanced by your responsibilities. Some of these rights which will be discussed with you in more detail are:

  • Your right to confidentiality
  • Your right to privacy
  • Your right to return to your home
  • Your right to make a complete break and get permanent housing
  • Your right make alternative arrangements which seem appropriate to you.
  • Your right to peaceful enjoyment of your room/the refuge
  • Your right to have repairs done
  • Your right to be consulted on changes to your license agreement
  • Your right to information
  • Your right to complain

Staff are available Monday to Friday.  On the evenings, during weekends and bank holidays, staff are ‘on-duty’ and are available to you in an emergency. If an urgent situation arises you should not hesitate to call our Helpline on 08000 194 400. In an emergency, you should always contact the relevant emergency service first by calling 999 and asking for the Police, Ambulance Service or Fire Service, before informing us.

Leaving refuge
We will support you to make the right decisions that work for you.  Once in refuge, your right to occupy continues until you decide to leave. Our Resettlement Service is available to you when you decide you are ready to move on from refuge.  Our Outreach & Resettlement Support Worker will be there to help you make a smooth transition from Refuge to your new home and ensure that practical & emotional support, advice & guidance is offered at the highest standard.

You will be able to access this service subject to meeting our eligibility criteria.

To make an enquiry about coming into one of our refuges, call our 24 Hour helpline on 08000 194 400 or email: