Author Archive | Claire Essame

Centre 56 awarded £15,000 from Masonic Charitable Foundation

MCF funding for Centre 56

The charity has been successful in its bid to the Masonic Charitable Foundation’s Early Years Opportunities programme for a £15,000 grant, which will be split over three years. The grant will help with the day-to-day running costs of the Centre.

Pat Roberts, Nursery and After-school Manager at Centre 56, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to receive this wonderful support. As a small charity we rely on funding to give children the best start in life. This fantastic grant from Masonic Charitable Foundation will help us to be there when children and families need us most.

“We cannot thank the Freemasons enough for their generosity and kindness”.

Centre 56 is a safe place for children and families in crisis. Its services are unique in Merseyside as it offers nursery and after-school places to children who have experienced domestic abuse – up to 58 children every year. It also provides support and training services to parents and families. Centre 56 strengthens families and helps children to flourish.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation encourages opportunity, promotes independence and improves wellbeing. Its Early Years Opportunities programme helps disadvantaged children and young people to overcome the barriers they face. The foundation is one of the largest grant-making charities in the country and supports charities across England and Wales. Its work is funded solely through the generous donations of Freemasons, their families and friends.

Centre 56 receives £20,000 grant

Centre 56 has received a substantial grant which will help it continue to provide vital services.

Centre 56 is a safe place for children and families in crisis. It is the only domestic abuse charity in the region to provide year-round nursery and after-school childcare alongside support services for whole families.

The £20,000 grant has been awarded to the charity by the Garfield Weston Foundation, a family-founded charitable grant-making organisation. In 2018, the Foundation celebrated its 60th anniversary and has made over £1 billion of donations to charities across the UK.

The grant will help Centre 56 to continue to provide a safe place for children and families in crisis. The Foundation’s generous support will help some of the most vulnerable children and families in society to stabilise their lives, develop and thrive.

Pat Roberts, Nursery and After-school Manager at Centre 56, said: “We’re over the moon to receive this grant from Garfield Weston Foundation. It’s wonderful to get this funding towards our running costs – helping us to keep providing support to our children and families.”

“We rely on donations like this to stay open and be ready to help those who need us most.”

Centre 56 maintains its ‘Good’ Ofsted rating inspection

Staff at Centre 56 are celebrating after Ofsted ranked it as ‘Good’ in a recent inspection.

Centre 56 received a good rating in all areas of the report including leadership, quality of teaching, personal development and welfare, and outcomes for children.

The report describes how managers and staff are energetic, enthusiastic and motivated, and their positive energy makes a real difference to the children and their families.

The report states: “The key emphasis on supporting children’s personal, social and emotional development helps to ensure that children feel happy, assured and safe.

“Stimulating experiences, such as soothing yoga sessions, help children to conquer any complex emotions”.

Pat Roberts, the Nursery and After-school Manager, said: “We’re delighted that we have maintained our ‘Good’ Ofsted result. Staff at Centre 56 work hard to teach children that they can achieve anything they put their mind to, despite difficult and sometimes challenging backgrounds”.

The report also commends Centre 56 on their approach to supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities.

“It’s a happier life… You can be strong, you can be happy”

The number of domestic abuse incidents recorded in Merseyside continues to rise with 28,359 cases reported in the year ending March 2017. Despite this, the number of domestic abuse services available in England has decreased by 21% since 2010.

Centre 56 in North Liverpool has been providing childcare and support services to victims of domestic abuse for over 45 years. At any one time it can be supporting 59 children aged between 2 and 14, all of whom have been affected by domestic abuse.

Two of the children belong to Sevilay, a 30-year-old single Mum who moved to England when she was 17 years old.

Sevilay experienced six years of mental and physical abuse from her husband and his family. She wasn’t allowed out of the house, she wasn’t allowed contact with her family, and she wasn’t allowed to learn English.

Two weeks after the birth of her second child, Sevilay realised she couldn’t do it anymore, and she came to a domestic abuse refuge.

“It was really scary when I first came to the refuge. I didn’t know what was going to happen. Everyone spoke a different language and I couldn’t say my own name, and you don’t have your family around. But if you don’t have anyone you have to be strong.

“After one week in the refuge I said I’m not going back”.

Sevilay couldn’t speak any English when she moved in to the refuge. But with the help of her support workers, she soon became more independent.

“When I went to the refuge my son was four years old and my daughter one month. They told me about Centre 56 and I met with the staff. We had nothing, no clothes, no shoes… Centre 56 gave us everything”.

Sevilay’s son started nursery at Centre 56 and Sevilay began attending weekly coffee morning with women who have similar experiences. They welcomed her, giving her someone to talk to and a way to improve her English.

It wasn’t long before Sevilay began attending classes, such as confidence building, photography, beauty and cookery.

Sevilay began volunteering at Centre 56 and eventually went on to become an employee: “I’m really happy, I don’t want to leave here. I didn’t think I’d get a job, but Centre 56 gave me my dream. I’m really happy to come to work because I love everyone.

“It wasn’t easy but it’s a happier life. Now everything is up to me, my money, my house, my rules!

“You can change everything, you can be strong, you can be happy. I’ve never regretted leaving my husband, but I regret not leaving him sooner”.

Light up a tree this christmas

Christmas tree

A Christmas-themed fundraising page has been setup to help support the children and families at Centre 56.

Christmas is an exciting time for many of us as we are busy buying gifts, meeting up with friends and visiting family.

It’s a little bit different for the families who go to Centre 56. Some of the families have recently fled an abusive home and are starting a new life with nothing. Some of the children will get very little, or nothing, come Christmas morning.

That’s why a Christmas fundraising page has been setup to help Centre 56 support its vulnerable families. We want as many people as possible to light up their Christmas Tree and leave festive messages.

Donating is easy: visit Centre 56’s Visufund page and choose to either light up a light or light up the star on the top of the tree. Donations start from just £5.

As Centre 56 is a charity it relies on the generosity of the public to keep its doors open. It costs around £4,000 per week to run Centre 56 but the support the families and children in invaluable; it’s the only place like it in the North West.

Centre 56 is delighted to announce its new patron

Katie Walker and Pat Roberts at Centre 56

Centre 56 is delighted to announce that Katie Walker is the new patron.

Katie Walker is a domestic abuse survivor. After being badly beaten by her ex-partner and spending three months having reconstructive surgery, Katie spent a long time recovering both physically and mentally.

With the help from the Princes Trust, Katie opened a charity in Liverpool, Katie Cares, where she provides support to women who have been affected by domestic abuse.

Now an ambassador for Princes Trust, Katie has gone on to win a Pride of Britain award and a Liverpool Lifestyles Award.

Katie now runs her own domestic abuse charity, Katie Cares, which is a stone’s throw away from Centre 56.

Pat Roberts, Nursery and After School Manager at Centre 56, says: “We are absolutely delighted that Katie is going to be a Centre 56 patron.

“Katie is a role model to other women who have been affected by domestic abuse. She has shown strength and resilience and has worked so hard to get where she is today.

“We hope this new partnership supports both Centre 56 and Katie Cares. We are local to each other, and hope that together we can help the many women and families who need our support”.

Katie said: “I am thrilled that Centre 56 has asked me to be a patron. Centre 56 has been around a long time and does amazing work supporting both children and families.

“I am honoured to call myself a patron and look forward to all the work we can do together”.

We’re feeling top of the crops after winning an award!

Centre 56 won the Travis Perkins Managed Services Community Award for Social Progress and Equality.

The award celebrates community groups that demonstrate the best effort in supporting individuals in their communities who are facing the greatest need to tackle social deprivation.

Centre 56 is one of the oldest domestic abuse support units in the country, having just celebrated its 45th anniversary. Over the past few years it has supported 1,305 children through its specialist nursery and after-school club. All these children have been affected by domestic abuse and have had a traumatic start in life.

Travis Perkins Managed Services awarded the £5,000 Social Progress and Equality prize fund towards Centre 56’s healthy eating programme.

Pat Roberts, the Nursery and After-school Manager at Centre 56, said: “Food poverty is an issue in deprived areas like North Liverpool.

“We realised some of the children were being given unhealthy food at home, so we decided to tackle this issue by providing free healthy hot meals at lunchtimes for the children and free cooking classes for parents.

“The prize fund will help us to extend this work, and we are going to create our own allotment where we can grow our own fresh fruit and vegetables. We’re going to involve the children so they receive homegrown healthy snacks whilst gaining new skills and experiences”.

Stuart Hough, Managing Director of Travis Perkins Managed Services, said: “Travis Perkins Managed Services is an organisation with social value at its core and being able to support charities such as Centre 56 is something that I am very proud of. Centre 56 is a fantastic charity that provides a hugely important service for families and children and are worthy winners of the Social Progress and Equality award.”

Introducing our new brand

Centre 56 has got a new look!

It was time to freshen up Centre 56’s look to better reflect what the charity is and the services it provides.

You may have seen the new rainbow logo over the past few weeks.

The new brand is colourful, fun and vibrant. Centre 56 is a happy, safe place where children and families can come and be helped on their journey to recovery.

Joining The Regenda Group earlier this year has given Centre 56 the opportunity to do this, without impacting on the people that matter most – the customers.

Centre 56 has also updated its strapline… A safe place. Together against domestic abuse.

We hope you like it!

It’s our 45th anniversary

Last week we celebrated our 45th anniversary!

Centre 56 began as a refuge in 1973 when two doctor’s and their wives were concerned about the injuries sustained by women at the hands of their partners.

Today, we run a nursery and after-school club for up to 46 children who have been affected by domestic abuse whilst offering information, advice and support to families.

We invited the children and families as well as businesses and the local community to come down and celebrate our longstanding contribution to vulnerable people in Liverpool. Over 200 people attended the event.

Pat Roberts, Nursery and After-school Manager at Centre 56, says: “Celebrating our 45th anniversary was brilliant. We had so much fun, and it was great to see the children and families have a great time too.

“We celebrated with lots of fun activities and games for the children including paint splatting and face painting, a raffle, DJ, and lots of food and cake.

“We would like to thank everyone who came and celebrated with us, making the day a really special occasion”.

Many of the companies that support Centre 56 also attended, including Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire Brigade, The Big Lottery Fund, Hugh Baird College, Construction Impact Framework, The Regenda Group and Alder Training.


The Big Lottery Fund helps to support local domestic abuse charity

Centre 56, a charity based in Liverpool which provides childcare and support for families who have suffered, or are at risk of domestic abuse or a crisis situation, has announced that it has been successful in a £300,000 bid for a Big Lottery Fund grant.

The funding will help to support the centre over the next three years to deliver its key childcare and resilience-building activities as well as developing an approach to new funding, which ensures that services are maintained and grown into the future.

Maria O’Brien of Centre 56 said: “We’re over the moon that we have been successful with the Big Lottery funding. The services we provide are so important to some of the most vulnerable people in our community, as we’re the only nursery to offer this type of support in the city.

“We are delighted that we can continue to offer this highly valued service, and with the help and support of businesses and decision makers across Liverpool, we can continue to raise vital funds to become sustainable over the longer term and broaden our offer to those most in need”.

For more information or to support the charity, visit

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