Harrogate charity increasingly aware of the effect of alcohol on relationships

Jo-Ann Hughes, Executive Director of the Harrogate Hub
Jo-Ann Hughes, Executive Director of the Harrogate Hub

Following the launch of the Independent Domestic Abuse Services’ (IDAS) Domestic Abuse Awareness Campaign this month, the Harrogate Hub says that among those in abusive relationships who are seeking support are retired residents.

Jo-Ann Hughes, Executive Director of the Harrogate Hub, spoke to the Advertiser and highlighted that many struggle once they have left work to maintain social connections.

She said: “When we are at work we have so many connections and when we retire it can be one of the most challenging moments of people’s lives. Your colleagues are people who you will see most of the time, if you do not have that framework of friends and family, you can become isolated.”

She added: “There are many issues that we have seen related to alcohol that can also lead to abuse in relationships. We are seeing people who have lost their self esteem and confidence through abusive relationships. It is a mix but we are seeing retired, hard working people who are often isolated. On occasions, we have received people who have lost their possessions and even their homes.”

Several volunteers at the Hub’s centre on Oxford Street in Harrogate have received training through IDAS, meaning they can offer continual support while also offering to signpost users.

Possibly as a result of the campaign, some have come to the centre for support, raising the issue of alcohol and the effect it can have on their relationship, with some saying they feel ‘hopeless and trapped.’

Miss Hughes said: “Alcohol affects every generation, it’s socially acceptable to use and easy to access. Where alcohol is misused, relationships can become stressed.

This issue affects both men and women.” People are coming into the Hub and saying that they feel their lives are ‘hopeless’ and that they feel trapped. She added: “If you are feeling alone and isolated, then remember, you can connect with us in a safe and non-judgemental café-style atmosphere here at the Hub.”