Our History

Empowerment was formed in March 2013 by the merger of Blackpool Advocacy and Lancaster and District Women’s Aid.

History of Blackpool Advocacy
The advocacy service came into operation in October 1995 funded jointly by Health and Social Services. It was a project managed by the Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) and was called S.I.G.H. – Support In Getting Heard, serving the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre areas.

In April 1999 the advocacy service achieved charitable status under the new name of Blackpool Advocacy and became independent of the CVS. The initial purpose of the organisation was to provide advocacy and support to people experiencing health and social care issues in the Blackpool area but grew to provide domestic abuse services in 2007 and dementia services in 2010.

History of Lancaster and District Women’s Aid
Lancaster and District Women’s Aid was set up in 1991, originally running a refuge for victims of domestic abuse. The refuge closed but the commitment of supporting women continued through new services including outreach. The service grew over the years to include support to medium and high risk victims of domestic abuse across Lancaster, Morecambe and the surrounding districts. In 2011 the charity formally expanded its scope to also include support to male victims of domestic abuse.

In 2012, after a period of constructive working together, the two charities decided to merge to create a single, high quality local Lancashire charity supporting vulnerable people.

The ethos behind this is that often people will have multiple challenges to face, and we don’t want to define people by their circumstance. Instead, we picked the name “Empowerment” because we think it’s what everyone deserves, and it is the way in which we work.

We now operate across Blackpool and Lancashire, working to empower people and help them to overcome the challenges they are facing. We support people affected by domestic abuse, health and social care problems, dementia and the impact of crime.

We have continued to grow, despite difficult economic circumstances, and our range of services and our geographic coverage has risen. In February 2014 we became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation and opened up membership to our supporters, moving to a new headquarters and achieving a more diverse funding base. We are very happy to come to talk to any local groups or organisations about what we do and how it makes a difference. Please contact us for more details.