April 21 2014 Latest news:

Latest London news, sport & entertainment

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 8°C

Five-day forecast

Trail-blazing Highbury centre for abused women celebrates 18 years

Staff and service users at the centre Staff and service users at the centre

Monday, December 9, 2013
5:36 PM

A trail-blazing crisis centre providing refuge for women who have suffered abuse and mental torture has celebrated its coming of age.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

The Drayton Park Crisis Centre (DPCC), in Drayton Park, a mental health service for women who would otherwise be admitted to hospital, turned 18 on Friday.

Staff and services users gathered to honour the occasion and were joined by Baroness Julia Neuberger, who founded the centre when she was chair of Camden and Islington Foundation Trust in 1995.

She said: “Women who come to Drayton Park immediately feel the sense of calm. It is a very special place. When I helped set it up 18 years ago we never thought it would have been so successful. It has changed the lives of so many women for the better and has given them hope and inspiration when they had none.”

Shirley McNicholas, senior manager at the centre, said: “It was a fantastic day, inspiring and emotional. When we opened Nelson Mandela had just been freed – he fought for social justice and we recognise injustice against women, so the fact he has died the night before our party meant he was a constant theme throughout the day.”

The DPCC is unique because it is the only all-women crisis centre run by an all-women team in the country - many centres have mixed sex accommodation or mixed sex staffing.

The Highbury facility also allows women to bring their children to live with them, giving a more homely feel and providing women the option of not having to rely on friends and family to look after their little ones.

Beth, one of the women who has recently used the centre describes it as a life-saver. Beth is a professional in the NHS, and a few years ago became depressed.

She said: “I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. It was almost overnight that I became a different person. I tried to commit suicide. I was in the worst place possible. It was a mercy that I ended up at Drayton Park. Their level of care and understanding was exceptional. It saved my life.”

Another woman who has used the service - Sarah - said: “I was an emotional wreck. I had to cope with hallucinations and hearing voices. The staff at Drayton Park listened to me and helped me through this incredibly difficult time. If I hadn’t have had their support I wouldn’t be here now.

Before I came to Drayton Park I couldn’t read or write. Now I can and I even write poetry.”

DPCC is open to any women in Islington whose mental health problems have been brought on by abuse and would otherwise be hospitalised - including self-referrals.

For more information, call 020 7607 2777.

Share this article

0 comments

   Local advertisers

Other Crime & Court Articles

Click here to read the Digital Edition of the Islington Gazette on screen
Use our Wedding site to help you plan your big day!
At WeddingSite we know how much you have to organise for your wedding day, that's why we have designed a set of FREE, simple-to-use tools to make the planning process easy & hassle-free. FIND OUT MORE
Find a date using our online dating and friend finder
You can meet new friends, find romance or simply meet up online with people sharing similar interests and hobbies. FIND OUT MORE
Find a local business using our online directory search
Need a plumber? Or a florist? Or anything else? Search our business directory to find Islington businesses in just a few seconds. FIND OUT MORE
Family notices from the Islington Gazette, with readers' tributes
In memoriam, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, best wishes & special days. FIND OUT MORE

Celebrity / Showbiz See all

The pop-up will mark Record Store Day, which is on Saturday (Picture: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

World’s smallest disco to open in Stoke Newington

Two musicians behind the ‘90s hit Brimful of Asha are launching the world’s smallest disco in Stoke Newington this weekend.

Read full story »