Posted on 20th January 2020

Cheshire’s domestic abuse support network is expanding thanks to a new venture launched by My CWA and funded by Cheshire's police and crime commissioner.

The charity (formerly Cheshire Without Abuse) has just opened a shop with a difference right in the heart of Macclesfield, bringing people from throughout the community together to improve the lives of those affected by domestic abuse.

The community store will be run by newly appointed manager, Emma McDonald, alongside a team of My CWA service users and volunteers. It offers everything you’d expect from a typical charity shop – including affordable, pre-loved clothing, gifts, furniture and homeware.

But it doesn’t stop there. As well as acting as a hub for the charity’s foobank and toiletry bank users, the store will host regular information days and a makers market to help those fleeing from domestic abuse to get back on their feet.

PCC cutting ribbon.jpeg

First in line for the information days is the New Leaf project – an initiative covering Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Warrington that helps women into education and employment.

“This is such an exciting time for the My CWA family,” says My CWA chief executive, Saskia Lightburn-Ritchie.

“A thriving community hub is so much more than we ever hoped for when we first started exploring the idea of opening a store in Macclesfield. Our foodbank, information days and makers markets help us go far beyond the typical charity store offering.

They open up opportunities for our service users to move on from their abuse – towards a more positive future.”

Cheshire police and crime commissioner David Keane, who has contributed significant funding towards the work, officially opened the store on the 17th January 2020.

He said: “I am pleased to have been able to offer funding from my Safer Communities Fund to enable My CWA to get this project off the ground.

"It is vitally important that people have somewhere safe to access support without stigma and the new shop provides just that.

"The way MY CWA has also combined this new initiative with opportunities for volunteering and developing local networks is a fantastic idea that I’m proud to support.”

My CWA is on the lookout for enthusiastic volunteers to help keep the new store running smoothly.

“If you’d like to join the team as a volunteer here in Macclesfield and help us make a real difference within the community, you can either speak to the store manager directly or send your CV to: info@mycwa.org.uk,” says Saskia.

“And please make sure you pop in, say hello and take a look around if you’re in the Jordangate area,” she adds.