Behind Closed Doors
Behind Closed Doors supports people in the Leeds district who have, or are, experiencing domestic abuse to exit harmful situations, enable them to take preventative steps to avoid escalation of harm and needs and support to aid recovery from an abusive experience, recent or historic, so that people can move on with their lives.
Behind Closed Doors received a grant of £82,090 from Lloyds Bank Foundation over three years. The grant supports the charity with their core costs, contributing to the salaries of their Operational Director and their Monitoring and Finance Coordinator.
Louise Tyne, Operational Director at Behind Closed Doors says core funding from the Foundation was much needed:
“In the last few years we have experienced a huge rise in demand for services. All our staff are over capacity and last year we had to temporarily close our waiting list for a period of four weeks which allowed us to prioritise those people already referred into the service”
Their grant from Lloyds Bank Foundation has enabled the charity to develop their services and work with more people. As well as funding, the Foundation matched Behind Closed Doors with Dave Moore, a Charity Mentor who has supported them through a range of challenges and is now Co-Chair of their board. Louise says:
“Dave is dynamic and energetic and he motivated the board to become more proactive .He’s also added a commercial perspective which balances the sector perspective many other people bring. He’s encouraged a business-like approach and supported the board to become more strategic in their governance role.”
Dave offers the charity a more commercial outlook but says mentoring the charity is poles apart from his day job:
“At work there’s a hierarchy but on a board where people have such a range of expertise you have to hear different views and consider different perspectives in order to reach the right decisions.”
Behind Closed Doors is a lifeline for people like Leila, who came to them after fleeing her husband with her children:
“One day he decided to lock me out of the house in a rage, and I had to call the police to break in and get the children out.
“When Behind Closed Doors got in touch they helped me understand what I’d been through. Before I thought that unless he beat me black and blue I couldn’t ask for help. Back home [in Kazakhstan] divorce isn’t an option, so although I knew what he was doing was wrong, I didn’t feel like I deserved anything better.”
Leila’s case worker Sarah helped her see a way forward:
“Talking to Sarah was better than talking to a friend because she understood in a way that other people can’t. I had spoken to my dad in Kazakhstan on Skype but he doesn’t do emotions; he just sat there and watched me cry. Sarah was like the family and friends I didn’t have.
“She also encouraged me to do my maths and English GCSEs - I got an A in English and a B in maths! I didn’t realise what doors are opened by GCSEs but now that I have them I am doing a full-time Access course.”
Leila now feels in control of her life:
“Behind Closed Doors didn’t just support me through a difficult time, they gave me a direction in life. They gave me a future.”