Solace Stories

Middle aged woman outside

Sophia’s Story 

Sophia came to Solace after physical abuse and controlling behaviour from her ex-partner, she was still at high risk of abuse.  

She was staying with friends having fled abuse, but this was only very short term. We helped her with an application for homelessness support and advocated for her to be given safe temporary accommodation. 

Sophia was struggling financially and found it difficult to afford everyday costs such as travelling to take her child to school every day. We gave her information on local foodbanks and gave her a supermarket gift card which allowed Sophia to buy the remainder of the items that she needed such as baby milk and we gave her and her children additional donated items including toiletries and toys.  

Sophia said that this had taken a lot of stress away from her as she had been feeling overwhelmed and helpless. 

£20 might not seem like a life changing amount of money, but for women like Sofia, it makes a massive difference and shows that people care. 

Tamara’s Story 

After 20 years of coercion, emotional, physical, sexual and verbal abuse, Tamara finally got away from her abuser and together with her children she was placed in a hostel with a range of services, one of which was Solace.  

We applied for a grant to pay for a courier to deliver some donated children’s clothes and with the remaining money, Tamara was able to buy a travel card. We also wrote a letter to support Tamara‘s visa application. We went with her to GP appointments to support her mental health and advocated for her to be referred to a psychiatrist to get a formal PTSD diagnosis and to be monitored while starting her medication as well as setting up a phone call with a university to discuss Tamara starting a degree. 

Tamara has now been granted a 30-month visa with recourse to public funds, and the permission to work and study. She will be able to renew this every 30 months for the next 10 years. She has received her National Insurance number and her first Universal Credit payment. 

‘I don’t know what I would have done without you, I am so grateful that you entered my life when you did.’ 

‘Thank you for being the only person who checked in on me and made sure me and my children were safe.’ 

Tamara also said of reaching out to Solace to get support- ‘Trust that they will help you to overcome your hardest days and worst fears.’ 

Nelly’s story

Nelly moved to the UK during the pandemic and was subjected to sexual and physical abuse and coercive control. When she tried to resist the perpetrator, she was injured so she fled the house with no possessions to a nearby shop where she called the police. The police put her in a hotel and referred her to Solace. 

Nelly disclosed injuries to one of Solace’s advisors, who supported her to contact emergency services and medical professionals whilst Solace advocated for Nelly to receive an interpreter. 

We worked alongside the police and ASC to keep Nelly at the same hotel to minimise change. We helped her obtain basic clothing, underwear, pyjamas, toiletries, including those appropriate for women of her ethnic background.  

When Nelly disclosed, she was struggling with her mental health, we provided crisis line numbers for her local area, and practised how she would ask for an interpreter in English. 

With our support Nelly has access to her own money, has a safe/stable place to live (specialist placement) and has an immigration solicitor helping her apply for indefinite leave to remain.  

She is also happier and more confident. 


Laurie’s Story 

Laurie’s husband was verbally and physically abusive to her for not obeying him and retaliated by leaving the home and shutting off access to the gas and electric. Laurie had no money to leave, so spent five evenings sleeping in a freezing house in the middle of winter, with her two children. 

At the first point of contact with Laurie, she described feeling so stressed that she couldn’t make decisions. She described lying in the freezing flat with her two children the previous night and feeling suicidal. She said she was ‘totally broken, crying and depressed’. 

With our support she now lives somewhere safe, and her children have transferred to a local school. The children celebrated their birthdays and Solace provided her with a gift card to buy a birthday cake and gift. Laurie now understands her immigration status and is going to apply for asylum. Laurie no longer feels suicidal, and reports feeling hopeful.  

 ‘You really supported me emotionally. It is because of you that I am mentally stable, I am feeling better’. 

‘Any woman could give blind trust to (Solace)’  

‘You helped me morally, socially, emotionally, financially. I came back to life after contacting you.’  

‘I was so low and felt suicidal, but you gave me hope, and strength to live.’ 

Dee’s Story 

Dee experienced abuse by her ex-partner who eventually kicked her and her baby out of their home. Their only choice was to sofa surf, meaning the baby then became a Child in Need and as a result, she was referred to the Floating Support service via her local Children Social Care (CSC).  

Dee had been subjected to domestic abuse from her ex-partner throughout her pregnancy, which included verbal, emotional, coercive control, and financial abuse. Dee was constantly in and out of hospital during her pregnancy for high blood pressure and related problems which could have been the impact of the domestic abuse she experienced. 

When Solace started working with Dee, she disclosed that prior to this relationship she had been in another physically abusive relationship and wanted help to build her self-esteem and recognise the red flags, as she did not want this to happen again. A Solace advisor discussed our Domestic Abuse Awareness 6-week workshop, she was happy for them to make this referral on her behalf. 

Dee is now receiving counselling and has completed our Domestic Abuse workshop. Dee said that, after completing the workshop, she “feels much more confident that she can enjoy a healthy relationship in the future, and she can be the mum she is meant to be for her son.”