FAMILIES supported by a Barnsley women's refuge will be able to venture out on day trips thanks after a partnership Barnsley Football Club has seen them lent their academy minibus.

The women and children - supported by the refuge run by IDAS, a charity supporting people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence - will be able to venture out on much-needed day trips.

The bus is already used to help people across town, but now the women and children who have fled abusive homes will be able to use it to head out on excursions.

The club has been one of the first entities to pledge their allegiance to the refuge in response to their ‘friend’ appeal and have urged others to join them.

Paul France, chief executive officer of Reds In The Community, said: “We are delighted to offer our support to Barnsley’s women’s refuge and their ‘friend’ appeal. “It’s a very worthy cause and we urge Chronicle readers to get involved and help too, if they can.

“Our minibus will now be available to the refuge for them to use – to go out on day trips, for example.

“We sincerely hope that our support will help bring some happiness to the women and children as they bravely move forward with their lives.”

The refuge are ‘desperately’ seeking local volunteers, particularly to help families at the end of their refuge stay into their own safe accommodation, or to offer ‘special experiences’ for the women and children.

Alongside providing six-month-long refuge stays to families in need, IDAS also offers community-based support, peer mentoring, group work and access to a free, confidential out-of-hours helpline.

A spokesperson for the refuge added: “A lot of people come to the refuge after an incredibly traumatic time and it is our job to provide respite for them – for up to six months – so they can begin their healing process.

“After that, we then look to move them into their own accommodation so that they and their families can begin to rebuild their lives and this is where we would really love some help from people.

“We are asking for people to help us prepare accommodation for the families moving out into their own homes.

“So we are looking for skilled people who can help us do anything from decorating to fitting carpets, installing alarms, or just generally helping to move things.

“This kind of support is invaluable to us as it will enable us to establish new, safer homes for families who desperately need to start afresh.

“On average, we rehome roughly one family a month from the refuge, so we aren’t asking for a lot of help – just an odd day or a couple of hours of time would be wonderful.

“If you think you could help us with this or in any other way, we’d love to hear from you.

“Any support we can get would be much appreciated.”

To express an interest or get involved, sign up using the QR code or contact IDAS Barnsley.