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BECBC members walk on fire for Freedom Project

Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster (BECBC) members venture across the Fire Walk to raise funds for the Cumbria-based Freedom Project, dedicated to supporting victims of domestic abuse.

Dianne Richardson, CEO, Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster: "I have been looking forward to being part of this for months. The Freedom Project is close to my heart. I was delighted that the BECBC Team chose them as the BECBC Charity of the Year for 2023. We chose to walk on hot coals because so many people in toxic relationships suffering from domestic abuse do this figuratively every minute of every day to avoid conflict. We felt we could literally do it for a few moments to provide funds for Freedom Project to work with all those affected in order to try and eradicate domestic abuse in our area.”

The Fire Walk event took place during BECBC’s September member on Wednesday and that day raised £1394.65. The meeting was run by the business cluster’s Shadow Board whose mission is to Empower the Next Generation. Presentations at the event included inspiring young people who have recently set up their own businesses aligned to their passion towards sustainability, including a start-up which aims to de-carbonise aviation fuel, and a food waste recycling business which will, in time, generate energy, fertiliser and compost for the Cumbrian farming community and beyond.

BECBC has more than 250 members from organisations in Cumbria and beyond active in the energy sector. At the heart of BECBC’s work is its commitment to collaboration which includes a commitment to the local community and provides cluster members with opportunities to actively engage in social issues which affect businesses as well as the wider communities.

The Freedom Project has supported over 10,000 individuals over the last 22 years. Its work has helped many survivors to move on and avoid future abusive relationships, perpetrators to change their behaviour and cease to abuse. It has also been able to support children and young people to recover from the trauma of living with domestic and sexual abuse.

Rhianna Smith, Chair of the BECBC Shadow Board: “Over the last 12 months, the Shadow Board has gone through a period of change in terms of its membership, and we made a commitment as a group to ensure we were not only supporting BECBC’s members, but the Charity of the Year. Some of our members participated in the Fire Walk this week, and in addition to this, the Shadow Board has raised over £1000 for the Freedom Project through our own fundraising activities. We are passionate about this cause and are keen to raise vital funds and awareness for the amazing work the Freedom Project does.”

Freedom Project figures say that, here in West Cumbria, rates of domestic abuse are five per cent above the national average and referrals to our service are increasing.