Worthing-based charity giving legal advice to domestic violence victims gets £50,000 funding

Two best friends from Worthing who are helping domestic abuse victims have been given a helping hand.

The Daisy Chain Project received a £50,000 grant from the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne on Wednesday.

Hayley Stoner, Katy Bourne and Jade-Shannon Patrick

Hayley Stoner, Katy Bourne and Jade-Shannon Patrick

This will allow the CEO Jade-Shannon Patrick, 26, and treasurer Hayley Stoner, 26, to put themselves on full time salaries and grow the charity, which provides free legal advice to men and women experiencing or fleeing domestic abuse.

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Jade, from Worthing, said it was ‘amazing’ news, and Hayley added: “We can push the charity forward now.

“We got to a road block where we were getting more people in than we could deal with. Now, we can do drop-ins, we can answer emails, get people in for meetings – everything will run a lot smoother.”

Katy described the charity as ‘unique in Sussex’ and was happy to support two young female entrepreneurs.

She said: “Knowledge is power, and just knowing that there are organisations like this one to support you gives you the opportunity to make the right choices.”

Jade, a lawyer, founded the charity in October 2017 and with the help of Hayley opened an office in Clock Walk, Bognor Regis, before moving to the Chapel Road office in Worthing in August.

A team of 30 volunteer lawyers and barristers work with the charity to help give advice on a range of legal issues, including divorce, child contact with the abusive parent and victims getting non-molestation orders for their former partners.

Jade and Hayley also go to court with the person and help them through the process, and have helped their clients to win their cases.

One of the firms that has recently pledged its support is Fitzhugh Gates, which has an office in Shoreham.

Julian Cioffi, managing director, said it was ‘a complicated journey’ between clients visiting the project and ‘getting the outcome they want’, adding: “We want to help make sure the people who come into this service have choices and get the right advice.”

Jade and Hayley have also written a children’s book about domestic abuse with the help of their friend Francesca Reilly, due to be published in December.

They said it was important for everyone to recognise the warning signs.

She said: “Checking your partner’s phone is abuse. It doesn’t seem like it, but it is.”