Stewarts will support Refuge, the UK’s largest provider of specialist support for women and children experiencing domestic abuse and gender-based violence, as our Charity of the Year in 2022.

The Stewarts Foundation is donating a grant to Refuge that will help fund lifesaving and life-changing services for survivors of domestic abuse and gender-based violence.

As in previous years, staff submitted nominations for a chosen charity for 2022. Refuge was included on a shortlist from the nominations, and following a firmwide vote was selected as the Charity of the Year.

In January 2022, members of the Refuge team spoke to staff in a virtual session, explaining the charity’s work to prevent domestic abuse and gender-based violence.


John Cahill, Managing Partner at Stewarts, comments:

“I am delighted that the Stewarts Foundation will be supporting Refuge in 2022. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the protection of vulnerable people in our communities is more important than ever.”


Rose Neild, Trusts and Foundations Manager at Refuge comments:

“Refuge is thrilled to have been chosen as Stewarts’ Charity of the Year 2022. Domestic abuse is one of the greatest threats to women and children in our society, and during the Covid-19 pandemic more women are reaching out to Refuge than ever before. Social restrictions may have lifted for the majority of us, but thousands of women still experience high levels of control from their abusers, who dictate when they leave their home or whether they see their friends or family.

Your generous donation will help Refuge provide the emotional and practical support that survivors of domestic abuse need to rebuild their lives, free from fear. From everyone at Refuge, thank you for helping us with our mission to create a world where domestic abuse is not accepted or tolerated”.


More about Refuge

Refuge supports thousands of women and children every day in emergency accommodation, community services, and through the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, which is the gateway to support services across the country.

Refuge operates a three-pronged strategy across its strands of work:

  • Providing high-quality services for women and children who have experienced violence;
  • Protecting women by advocating for a strong criminal justice response to perpetrators;
  • Preventing future violence through education, training and awareness-raising.

The Covid-19 pandemic has added complications to the work done by Refuge. Periods of lockdown have resulted in victims being forced to spend even more time with their abusers, and losing the opportunity to escape. During the pandemic period the National Domestic Abuse Helpline experienced a 64% increase in calls and contacts. In 2021, Refuge supported 10,724 women and their 14,709 children.

A growing form of domestic abuse involves technology, and can be anything from harassment via text messages or social media to location tracking and spying on women via ‘stalkerware’ or home devices. Between April 2020 and May 2021, Refuge saw a 97% increase in the number of complex tech abuse cases requiring specialist tech support when compared to the first three months of 2020. The charity has a specialist Tech Abuse team which works directly with women affected and supports them to use technology safely.

If you are affected by domestic abuse, you are not alone. Refuge is here for you. The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is open 24/7, seven days a week. You can access free and confidential on 0808 2000 247 and digital support via live chat Monday-Friday 3-10pm via their website. You can also fill out a web form on the National Domestic Abuse Helpline website and request a call back at a safe time.



The Stewarts Foundation

Since our inception in 1990, Stewarts have been actively involved in supporting a variety of charities. The Stewarts Foundation was set up in 2010 to formalise and manage the firm’s charitable giving. To date, the Foundation has donated nearly £7m to over 200 charities. You can find out more about The Stewarts Foundation here.



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