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Tamworth Family Support Services (TFSS) have taken a significant step forward in progressing the proposed Core and Cluster Refuge in Tamworth with the NSW Government accepting the organisations Expression of Interest (EOI).

Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said the milestone was an important next step in the campaign to improve domestic and family violence infrastructure and support for women and children in Tamworth and would build new crisis accommodation, collocated with support services.

“The evidence shows that Tamworth is in need of a facility that will better support women and children fleeing domestic violence, helping them rebuild their lives with the help of the outstanding staff at Tamworth Family Support Services,” Mr Anderson said.

“That is why so many organisations and community members have come together to assist in our application to fund a Core and Cluster facility in Tamworth.”

TFSS CEO Belinda Kotris said the organisation had partnered with Orange based organisation Housing Plus to deliver on the project, leaning on their expertise after the success of their build of the “Orchard” in Orange.

“The proposed model will not only complement the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service (WDVCAS) and Staying Home Leaving Violence (SHLV), which TFSS runs locally, but a range of other programs and services we run.” Ms Kotris said

“A significant amount of work has gone into this project, and while we still have a long way to go, I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has been involved and supported the process and we look forward to working with our partner agencies to deliver outstanding services into the future.”

Housing Plus CEO David Fisher said the organisation was pleased to be working with TFSS, bringing their experience in project managing a similar facility in Orange.

“We are delighted to be working with TFSS to provide support to victims of domestic abuse in Tamworth,” Mr Fisher said.

“We believe our expertise and track record in design, construction and management of emergency accommodation, combined with TFSS long history of providing support services for the Tamworth community, offers the best for both organisations.”

Tamworth Local Aboriginal Land Council Chair Daisy Cutmore welcomed the news that the EOI for the proposal had been accepted.

“The Tamworth Local Aboriginal Land Council welcomes the proposal to improve domestic violence services and support in Tamworth,” Ms Cutmore said.

“This would significantly benefit the local aboriginal community and we look forward to supporting Tamworth Family Support Services as the development progresses.”

Core and Cluster is an innovative model that allows for independent living and privacy while also providing access to supports. Under the Core and Cluster model, self-contained accommodation is located next to a ‘core’, which provides access to services such as counselling, legal assistance, education, and employment support. The sites may contain meeting rooms, audio-visual equipment for court appearances, communal kitchens, and playgrounds.

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