Page last updated at 12:04 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Women's refuge project commended

Sign for The Butterfly Project
The award was in the the complex needs category

A project based at a women's refuge in Derby has won national recognition.

The Butterfly Project, in Derby, not only provides a place for those fleeing abuse, but also helps victims who have problems with drug or alcohol abuse.

The project, which opened a year ago, has offered support to 29 women and their children. It is located at the Derwent Living refuge.

The Guardian newspaper praised the Butterfly Project in its annual Public Service Awards.

Donna Webb, manager of the refuge, said: "The facility means that we are now able to accommodate women with additional needs, which we haven't been able to do before, and there was a great need for in the area."

Narinder Sidhu, who works at the refuge, said: "Women who have problematic alcohol/substance use and women with mental health problems are often excluded from services.

"Refuges find it difficult to support these women and that can lead to women becoming even more vulnerable."

One woman, who asked not to be named, said she turned to alcohol after her brother started to beat her.

She said Butterfly Project helped her tackle her alcohol abuse problem.

Since 1993, the Derwent Living refuge has provided support to more than 2,000 women and their children.

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