THE QUEEN HAS TODAY VISITED REFUGE’S GAIA CENTRE, IN SOUTH LONDON
Tuesday 23rd January 2024
Her Majesty The Queen has today visited Refuge’s Gaia Centre in South London, a specialist Violence Against Women and Girls service and community hub, based in the heart of Lambeth, working to end gender-based violence and support survivors.
The Gaia Centre, which opened its doors in 2012, is one of the first services in the UK to offer a single point of access for those experiencing violence and abuse. The centre provides confidential, non-judgemental support to more than 1,500 adults and 2,000 children each year in the London borough of Lambeth; providing care for survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence, trafficking, modern slavery, sexual exploitation, Female Genital Mutilation, forced marriage and honour-based violence.
During the visit today, Her Majesty met privately with survivors of domestic abuse, who shared their personal stories and their experience of being supported by Refuge. The Queen also visited a children’s playroom and heard from Refuge’s specialist staff about how children who have experienced domestic abuse, and other forms of gender-based violence, including Child Sexual Exploitation, are supported by the centre.
The Queen was accompanied today by the Chair of Refuge’s Board of Trustees, Hetti Barkworth-Nanton CBE, and interim CEO Ellen Miller. Her Majesty spoke to frontline staff from Refuge’s service delivery teams, including early years workers and the community outreach team. The Queen also met members of the leadership team and spoke to representatives from Lambeth Council, which commissions the Gaia Centre service; a lifeline for so many.