Today, 7th July, we're celebrating our 10th birthday. In celebration, we've just launched our latest campaign, #ChangingTheStory. It’s been an incredible decade and we’re thankful for the change we’ve seen, the churches we’ve trained and the amazing people who have supported us along the way.
As we turn ten, we’ve been reminiscing on the past decade. Here are a few highlights that we’ll be celebrating this month:
- The Church has always been at the forefront of lasting social change and we believe the Church is the vehicle by which we can end violence against women. We’re delighted that in the last decade we’ve shared over 25,000 copies of our Church Pack designed to help churches prevent and respond to domestic abuse. Thanks to everyone who has picked one of these up - we’re hopeful that these will help you create safe spaces.
- We’re really proud of our Survivor’s Handbook, which supports female survivors of domestic abuse. One woman commented: ‘Thank you so much for the handbook – it is excellent - so helpful. Amazed there is such a resource out there – just when I need it and I just found you when I searched online.’
- We’ve trained over 5000 Church Leaders and Safeguarding Officers, including the Church of England and the Methodist Church national team. It’s a huge privilege for us to spend a day talking theology and, practically, how to respond when domestic abuse is disclosed. If you’ve attended one of our training days - thank you for taking part and for taking this back to your church.
- We published research on domestic abuse in churches in the UK, the first of its kind! It confirmed that 1 in 4 churchgoers were experiencing domestic abuse in a current relationship; over 90% involved a male perpetrator. We also unveiled that domestic abuse is hardly ever spoken about in churches, with 57% of respondents sharing that they’d never heard a sermon about domestic abuse. We’ve been working to address that ever since.
- We’ve established a network for men: First Man Standing. Over 1000 Christian men have committed to help end violence against women. Violence against women is not a women’s issue, it’s a human issue. And we want to tackle this together.
There are lots of people we’re really grateful for, but here are a few we wanted to particularly mention:
- To all our wonderful supporters: we would not have been able to ensure safe spaces for women without you! Your commitment, passion and sacrifice inspire and motivate us to press on with our vision to end violence against women. We’re unbelievably privileged to share this journey with you.
- To Mandy Marshall and Peter Grant: you took Restored from just an idea in the mind’s eye, through to a fully fledged charity advocating for change and making it happen! Your leadership, wisdom and work are invaluable and so appreciated. And we’re grateful for your unwavering support to this day. You’ve led an amazing staff team, who have helped Restored thrive.
- Thank you Matthew Hutton and Paul Brigham for your support as founder members of Restored; we're grateful for your support and advice as Restored was set up.
- To Natalie Collins: without you we would be all the poorer. Thank you for helping to launch Restored and for developing our Church Pack. You’ve given us a wealth of rich resources and we’re really grateful.
- To Sian Edwards and the Andrews Charitable Trust; we are enormously grateful for your investment early on, which got Restored up and running. Your investment, wisdom and expertise have enabled us to make a world of difference.
- To the Old Jamaica Road Trust who have helped bring some amazing projects to life.
- To Sarah Clark and Helen Gaw, who committed to pray for us.
- To Gwen Mtambirwa, Rosemary New and Sarah Butterworth, who have not only fundraised for Restored, but who campaign tirelessly for an end to domestic abuse.
- To Tearfund, who blessed us in so many ways.
- To our Ambassadors, Bishop Rachel Treweek, Susie Flashman-Jarvis, Carl Beech and Elaine and Alan Storkey, who have opened doors for us, publicised the work and supported us along the way.
- To our amazing volunteers: whether you've volunteered in the office or at an event, we couldn't have gotten where we are without you!
- To those who have blessed us with amazing creative skills, we are thankful to have worked with some amazing designers and producers who have helped us to develop our brand and to communicate it.
- Last but not least, to all board members, both past and present, thank you for your guidance, for championing us and for continuing to invest in us. The hard questions you ask make us all the better at what we do. Thank you Jill Garner for helping us to grow in the early days, to Val Stephens for your invaluable guidance, to Jill McLachlan for your oversight and to Simon Lawry-White and our current trustees for your deep ambition for us to grow.
The decade ahead
As well as looking back, we look to the next decade. It’s a fresh opportunity to bring about change and we will continue to change the stories of women affected by domestic abuse. There is far more to be done.
We resolve to work tirelessly to bring hope and dignity to many women. Together, we can bring dignity and hope to thousands of women in the decade ahead. Will you join us?
Help us create more safe spaces for women by donating here.