Trevi launches new Life Begins fund to aid women’s recovery and resilience

Trevi, the leading women’s charity in Devon, has today officially launched a new Life Begins fund to aid women’s recovery and resilience linked to the pandemic. Women can apply for funding by contacting Trevi at the Sunflower Women’s Centre. This vital funding has been made possible thanks to corporate donors and foundations.

After 28 years of operation, Trevi now supports more than 550 women and children every year – providing safe and nurturing spaces for women and their families to heal, grow and thrive. Trevi’s vision is for a society where all women in recovery can access good quality, psychologically informed, gender-based interventions without apology.

The charity runs three centres, including a residential rehabilitation centre for mums and their children, Jasmine Mother’s Recovery, and the Sunflower Women’s Centre – the only women’s centre in the Plymouth community. Sunflower supports women in recovery from addiction, mental ill health, domestic abuse, sexual violence, and criminogenic behaviours. All of Trevi’s services have remained open throughout the entire pandemic thanks to the charity’s dedicated and hardworking team.

During each lockdown, Trevi has experienced a dramatic rise in referrals linked to domestic abuse, severe isolation – in some cases causing agoraphobia, mental ill health including attempted suicides and extreme poverty. Many women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Sunflower Practitioners who have been working with hundreds of women across the city over the past 10 months know all too well the strain and challenges women – many on the fringe of society – have had to face.

Thanks to funders including Barclays 100×100 UK Covid-19 Community Relief Programme, the charity has set up a Life Begins Fund which consists of two strands: (1) one to offer a sponsored bed at its residential rehab and (2) to support women and their children’s recovery and resilience linked to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. This may be for devices or data to aid online access to health and wellbeing services or home-schooling; it could be for support for women and children fleeing domestic abuse; broken appliances; clothing for interviews to aid employment chances and more.

In order to access financial support, women must be:
-18 years or over
-Be registered with our Sunflower Women’s Centre
-Have entitlement to reside in the UK
-Be in receipt of all benefits they are entitled to
-Have savings of no more than £4,000
-Have debts of no more than £10,000

Women should contact the Sunflower Women’s Centre and work with a support worker to make an application. Applications will then be assessed by a panel and if successful, support will be administered within four weeks. Feedback and evidence will need to be given within 3 months of being in receipt of the support.

Trevi has also teamed up with St Matthias as part of the Love Your Neighbour partnership. St Matthias is currently running a foodbank operation. The two charities will refer women to each other depending on the level of need.

Hannah Shead, CEO of Trevi states: ‘This pandemic has hit our community hard, and sadly it has further exposed the inequalities within society. We have seen first-hand the impact of this on the many women we support. Whilst we are doing all we can to meet the increasing demands in terms of mental distress, domestic abuse and isolation, we are now looking at ways to assist women experiencing financial hardship.

Our Life Begins Fund will do what it says on the tin, it will give women some of the help and support that they need to ensure that life can begin again.’

Tina Bayliss, Lead of the Love Your Neighbour partnership states: ‘We are honoured to partner with Trevi and their Life Begins fund opportunity.  With each national lockdown we have seen the numbers of families using our services increase exponentially.  The Life Begins fund and services that Trevi are offering will bring so much relief to struggling families in the city of Plymouth.  As I am sure many mums would attest, the national lockdown and home schooling for our children has its own unique challenges. These challenges for some of the families are compounded by not having access to internet access, or devices for their children to be able to participate in school at home. Or worse yet not even being able to afford food, electricity and gas for their families.  The partnership will provide families a holistic approach and allow many mums to be able to focus on being successful parents.’

To find out more about the Life Begins fund, please visit the Life Begins webpage  or contact the Sunflower Women’s Centre on 01752 977614 or emailing To make a donation to the fund, please click here.

The St Matthias foodbank is open for pick up on Tuesdays between 6pm and 8pm and Fridays noon to 2pm.

t: 01752 255 758

t: 01752 255 758