Dawn’s New Horizon
1715. Lorraine Curston
Lorraine Curston, from Norfolk, is a domestic abuse survivor who founded ‘Dawn’s New Horizon’, a hub operating across the county to support other people who have experienced abuse.
Lorraine set up the initiative in 2008, after leaving an abusive relationship and realising that there was a lack of support in the local area for men and women who needed help. She started by forming a helpline available 24/7, before raising enough funds to open a community shop four years later. Supported by a Board of Trustees and Partners, ‘Dawn’s New Horizon’ is a non-profit making domestic abuse support organisation, providing help and support services to men and women in the Broadland district area of Norwich. ‘Dawn’s New Horizon’ and its partners offer a range of well-being services including an advice and information service about domestic abuse support on a drop-in basis, as well as ACT Therapy, counselling and coaching by appointment, haircuts, clothing and household items to set up home are also available for those in need. Lorraine has so far been able to support over 1,000 women and men in Norfolk who have experienced abuse.
In a personal letter to Lorraine, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“You know that some of the people fleeing their homes will do so with nothing and so it is fantastic that ‘Dawn’s New Horizon’ has helped over 1,000 women and men build their new lives.
“From practical help like free clothes and haircuts, to vital emotional support for victims of domestic abuse, you are providing a source of comfort and dignity.”
In response to receiving the award, Lorraine said:
“It is an incredible honour to receive this award and recognition for all the hard work everybody at ‘Dawn’s New Horizon’ has done over the last year. During the pandemic, we had to adapt our services to keep up with both significant increases in demand and the ever-changing restrictions on how we could deliver services. We had to quickly add additional services and find new ways to deliver existing services as other agencies simply closed their doors. Demand for food and clothing became a regular daily activity, whilst helping clients escaping domestic abuse remained our top priority. ‘Dawn’s New Horizon’ had to raise funds, doing whatever was necessary, so we could continue to help clients. We’re currently eagerly awaiting approval from the Charities Commission to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) which will give us the opportunity to apply for additional funding streams. The community pulled together when we needed each other the most. The team at ‘Dawn’s New Horizon’ feel very privileged to have received this award.”