Fortalice in Bolton is one of the many charities supported by Children in Need, which airs tonight on the BBC.

The domestic abuse charity, featured on BBC North West news on Tuesday, November 14, to discuss some of the vital work they do to support families and how funding makes a huge difference.

A particular mention was given to The Dove Project based at Fortalice which helps children to work through the trauma that they have experienced at home due to domestic violence to become happy and healthy adults.

Chief Executive Gill Smallwood explained how children become withdrawn, they cannot function, they suffer with anxiety and trauma is at the front so they can be jumpy when they see domestic abuse in the home.

Speaking on the show, Gill said children are ‘often the silent victims’ and they are the ‘victims that people often don’t see’.

She said the children the charity has worked with have gone onto leading healthy lives, after learning what healthy relationships should look like and can work through the trauma.

Speaking on BBC North West, Gill said: “The support from Children in Need has been amazing, we have been able to do so many things with the children that we just wouldn’t have dreamt of and it’s when I look at those children and they just shine, they beam, and they are happy and you can’t put a price on that.”

A spokesperson for Fortalice said: “This service is so needed and sadly we often have a large waiting list of children desperately needing the service.

“The funding from Children in Need is hugely appreciated and helps us provide a diverse range for children and young people to help them recover from the trauma they have endured.

“It was a huge privilege to work with Children in Need to make a film which outlined some of our services.

“The work we do can be lifesaving and can provide lifelines for people who are struggling.”

The funding is vital for families across the borough who need to seek shelter from abusive relationships.

One resident said thanks to Fortalice, they can now start the ‘next chapter’ of their journey.

They said: “Me and my girls arrived with a bag and a pram and that was everything we had, but bit by bit we built our belongings up through generous donations.

“The staff at the refuge are so amazing, caring, and helpful.

“My support worker was always working above and beyond to support me in every way possible.

“I have learnt how to be in control of my life again and that with the help and support you start to see the brighter side.

“Because of Fortalice, me and my girls are starting the next chapter in our journey.”

Fortalice provides frontline services out in the community for victims and survivors of domestic abuse, they also have 22 units in their refuge to keep women and children safe.

In addition, they have more than 20 projects to help support all victims and survivors of domestic abuse, some of these services include training GPs, with 39 counsellors providing onsite services.

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