ANDREW Stephenson has welcomed the award of a £1.2million grant for domestic abuse charity Refuge, to help support those in East Lancs suffering with abusive relationships.

The helpline provides confidential advice to men and women with a violent or abusive partner.

It will also help victims access refuge accommodation and other specialist services.

Mr Stephenson said: "Tackling domestic abuse remains a top priority as far too many men and especially women suffer in silence, some not sure where to go for help.

"I am delighted to see this funding go to Refuge's helpline.

"It means Pendle residents facing domestic abuse can easily access the help they need."

The funding will ensure the helpline is in operation until at least March 2022.

Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded this contract grant funding, which will increase the support available to those experiencing domestic abuse."