Founder of Bognor Regis domestic abuse charity announced as Women of the Year award winner

The founder of My Sisters' House in Bognor Regis has been named as a Women of the Year award winner.

Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 5:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th November 2020, 7:42 pm

Julie Budge said she was 'immensely proud' to receive the Woman in the Community Award.

She added: "Without a doubt, the journey setting up the women’s centre from my kitchen table to what it is today was only possible because of the support of literally hundreds of women; those brave women that access our services who keep me inspired to continue, the staff, the volunteers and our devoted trustees. And not forgetting, of course, my close family”

My Sisters' House, whose patron is Dame Julie Walters, operates across West Sussex, providing advice, support and guidance to women suffering from domestic abuse, poverty and mental health issues.

Julie Budge (right) has received the backing of Dame Julie Walters after forming My Sisters' House Women's Centre. Photo: Sarah Standing

As a result of the sharp rise in domestic abuse cases over lockdown, the work of organisations like My Sisters’ House is more vital than ever.

For more than 60 years, Women of the Year has 'recognised and celebrated' the 'rich diversity' of women from across the UK 'who have inspired us all'.

A spokesperson said: "A select few awards are presented to exceptional women who have each proved an inspiration to others through their courage, selflessness, and dedication both in the UK and globally."

Ms Budge said that she hopes the award will 'open new opportunities' which will 'help sustain and grow' the centre for the future and attract new investment.

She added: "We want to do more to support those with a history of multiple issues; addictions; childhood sexual abuse; domestic or sexual violence; sex-working; and women with a pattern of relapse linked to forming unhelpful relationships by widening our service offer to include more local drop-ins across the coastal West Sussex area, and work toward

our long-term vision for a women’s residential treatment house."

Dianne Smith, chairman of My Sisters’ House, said it has been an ‘immense privilege’ to support the first five years of the charity’s journey.

"I and fellow trustees are delighted and thrilled that Julie’s outstanding work on behalf of the vulnerable women in our community has been recognised with this incredible award," she said.

"Julie is an exceptional woman. Her vision, passion and understanding of the depth of the need for the women in our community inspires and motivates us all.

"Our strategic plan charts the next stage of the journey which under Julie’s transformational leadership will see My Sisters' House reaching out to more and more of the very many women who dearly need our support and help."

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