Lambeth: Her Majesty The Queen visits Refuge’s Gaia Centre in Lambeth

26 January 2024

Written by: Lambeth Council

News and announcements

Her Majesty The Queen visited the Gaia Centre which is commissioned by Lambeth Council and run by the charity Refuge to provide confidential, non-judgmental and independent support services for local people who are experiencing gender-based violence.

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Lambeth: Her Majesty The Queen visits Refuge’s Gaia Centre in Lambeth
Photo credit: Stacey Osborne – Refuge

The Queen met with survivors of domestic abuse, frontline staff and Lambeth Council representatives Cllr Dr Mahamed Hashi and Cllr Rezina Chowdhury to hear about the work to end gender-based violence in the borough.

Her Majesty The Queen said: “I particularly salute all the survivors who are able to get out there; to talk to me, talk to everybody and tell other people about what they’ve been through, because they are going to save many lives by getting others to come forward.

“It’s wonderful to see everybody here today, to see a whole team working together, it’s obviously producing good results and will save lives. Thank you all very much for all you do in this field, because you are doing a brilliant job.”

The Gaia Centre in Lambeth is a community-based service and operates as a one-stop shop supporting survivors with outreach programmes, independent advocacy such as legal and economic support, group support, support around accommodation and housing and other specialist services. It is accessible to anyone living in Lambeth who has experienced or is at risk of gender-based violence.

Cllr Hashi said: “Lambeth was proud to receive this visit and to talk to The Queen about the vital and incredibly important community services the Gaia provides. We are committed to tackling gender based violence in all forms in our borough and have protected these services from the deep funding cuts our sector has faced.”

Lambeth Council’s current strategy for tackling Violence Against Women and Girls which was adopted in 2021 and sets out how the council works with its partners on the issue over the following five years. It the council’s third strategy and builds on a decade of work to establish effective services, partnerships and processes that support victims and survivors and their children, and hold perpetrators to account.

Lambeth council funds the largest number of refuge centre beds in London with 52. There is also specialist community-based support for survivors of VAWG and a specific service for those affected by female genital mutilation.