Wednesday, 28th April, 2021

For Immediate Release


  • Domestic abuse charity, Hestia, receives £655,000 of support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery
  • More than 200,000 victims of domestic abuse will now be helped as pandemic causes soaring demand for services

Charity Hestia’s UK SAYS NO MORE campaign is to dramatically expand its Safe Spaces scheme for victims of domestic abuse across the UK, in response to rising levels of abuse during the pandemic.

The Safe Spaces scheme offers access points, through high street partners, where victims can discreetly use consultation rooms to access specialist domestic abuse services.

Thanks to an award of £655,000 raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, more than 200,000 victims of domestic abuse will be helped. The funding has been awarded as part of the Postcode Recovery Fund, designed to help communities recover from problems exacerbated by the pandemic.

 The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on victims of domestic abuse, with the number of cases escalating and support networks cut off overnight. Since lockdown on November 5, 2020, Hestia has seen a 30 per cent increase in demand for support.

Currently, people living with domestic abuse can access over 5,300 Safe Spaces in pharmacies nationwide as well as accessing Online Safe Spaces on many websites. The new funding will allow Safe Spaces to extend to other high street businesses and online, to build a long-lasting infrastructure of support for victims of domestic abuse.

To support the expansion of the Safe Spaces project, 32,000 staff in participating organisations will be trained in domestic abuse responses so victims can access the help they need.

“Hestia’s Safe Spaces initiative is a great example of a charity that is addressing the demand which has escalated during the pandemic. Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the charity received the funds to create additional safe spaces for those needing help. Thanks to this funding, more support will be available in our communities and on our high streets, bringing benefits well beyond the pandemic, to those who need a safe space

Laura Chow, Head of Charities at People's Postcode Lottery

“Right now there are victims of domestic abuse that don’t know where to go or are trapped at home with their abuser. Safe Spaces was born in the midst of lockdown as a bridge for victims to specialist support, but it has the potential to support thousands more victims to safety in the future. With the generous support of the players of People’s Postcode Lottery we can now expand this vital initiative, enabling communities to be play a critical role in tackling domestic abuse.

Sue Harper, Head of Domestic Abuse Prevention at Hestia

A survivor of domestic abuse who used a Safe Space told Hestia:

“Safe Spaces has saved my life. I had been experiencing coercive control for 5 years of a 10 year relationship. During lockdown, I was shielding and the abuse escalated to aggression and violence, making me fear for my life. When I saw that independent pharmacies were offering Safe Spaces, I scrolled through the list with my heart in my mouth and found that my local village pharmacy was listed. Over the weeks I used the Safe Space, I developed a plan to get the abuser out of my home. I am now beginning to feel safe in my home again, but without this support, things could have been very different and far, far worse.

Notes to editors

To find your nearest Safe Space, visit:

About Hestia and UK SAYS NO MORE

Hestia is one of the largest providers of domestic abuse refuges in London and the South East and is the main organisation supporting victims of modern slavery in the capital. It is the home of domestic abuse and sexual violence campaign UK SAYS NO MORE and developed the Bright Sky domestic abuse app in partnership with Vodafone. Last year, it celebrated 50 years of providing support to those in crisis by providing safehouses, refuge accommodation and support.

  • Safe Spaces was developed as an initiative of the UK SAYS NO MORE campaign in response to the challenges faced by people experiencing domestic abuse during the COVID-19 lockdown and their inability to access specialist support services.
  • It was first launched in partnership with Boots and is now available in over 5,300 pharmacies across the UK, including major brands and local independent pharmacists.
  • Safe Spaces operates alongside the Home Office Ask for ANI scheme, whereby people can ask for 'ANI' at pharmacy healthcare counters to access an immediate police response.
  • Online Safe Spaces launched in partnership with the Royal Mail Group in September 2020 and has been used over 250,000 times since then.
  • Safe Spaces is supported by the players of People's Postcode Lottery.

 About People's Postcode Lottery

 From 1 April 2021 Safe Spaces is supported by the players of People's Postcode Lottery.

  • People’s Postcode Lottery manages lotteries on behalf of 20 Postcode Trusts. People play with their chosen postcodes for a chance to win cash prizes. A minimum of 32% from each subscription goes directly to charities and good causes in Britain and internationally. Players have raised more than £700 million so far. For details of the charities and good causes which are promoting and benefitting from the lottery draws, please visit
  • It costs £10 a month to play and winning postcodes are announced every day. The maximum amount a single ticket can win is 10% of the draw proceeds. For details, please visit
  • New players can sign up to pay using direct debit by calling 0808 10 9 8 7 6 5. New players who sign up online at can pay using direct debit, debit card or PayPal.
  • Postcode Lottery Limited is regulated by the Gambling Commission under licence numbers: 000-000829-N-102511 and 000-000829-R-102513. Registered office: 2nd Floor, 31 Chertsey Street, Guildford, Surrey, England, GU1 4HD
  • Follow us @PPLComms

About People’s Postcode Lottery Recovery Fund

People’s Postcode Recovery Fund is supported by Postcode Innovation Trust, a grant giving body, funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery to fund charities delivering highly innovative, impactful, and engaging projects across Britain and further afield. The Postcode Recovery Fund has been created to support charities to develop innovative solutions that address the many issues affecting people as society recovers from the effects of the pandemic.