THE sale of a historic mission building will help Stroud Women’s Refuge continue its vital work with some of the most vulnerable families in Gloucestershire.

The refuge will receive a substantial donation from the sale of the Park Street Mission building in Gloucester.

Trustees of the Mission, many of whom are Gloucestershire Quakers, recently sold the Park Street Mission building in Gloucester, which was a place of worship for over 340 years.

They are now using the proceeds to support several worthy organisations, including Stroud Women’s Refuge.

Quakers have been active in Gloucestershire since the 17th century and purchased two cottages in Gloucester which eventually became Park Street Mission House that was used for centuries.

The Mission included a strong female focus - being owned or led by women and hosting women’s groups and services during its many years of service.

Those involved with Park Street Mission also set up some of the first services in Gloucestershire that supported vulnerable women at risk of abuse and sexual violence in Gloucestershire.

Trustees have decided continue the legacy of their forebears by donating to three charities with a strong history of supporting women at risk of abuse and sexual violence – Stroud Women’s Refuge (the only remaining Women’s Refuge in Gloucestershire), The Nelson Trust and the Family Haven.

Stroud Women’s Refuge is an independent charity that has provided support to families fleeing domestic abuse for over 40 years.

The refuge houses around 35 families a year who are at risk of abuse.

Jill Cooper, who helps to run Stroud Women’s Refuge said: “Stroud Women’s Refuge has enjoyed positive and enduring links with local Quaker individuals and groups for many years who have offered us lots of support.

"This donation from trustees of the Mission is absolutely fantastic and will help us to continue vital work with some of the most vulnerable families in Gloucestershire.

"We are very aware that selling a property so rich in history must be a sensitive and difficult decision for all those involved; the fact that proceeds will provide safety and support for vulnerable women affected by abuse is a fitting legacy and one which I hope all involved will be very proud of.”