Malawi Solar Lights
The Link Cafe (TLC)

Charity Overview

The Link Cafe (TLC) supports women fleeing domestic abuse. They differentiate their service by providing long-term emotional and practical support. None of the women they support have ever gone back to their abusers. TLC provides counselling, equine facilitated learning, mentoring, home visits, support at housing and social services meetings, facilitate education advice, and support throughout their legal proceedings. They also provide food parcels, toiletries, clothes and other second-hand goods. 

TLC operates a drop-in centre where they receive emotional support from volunteers and each other, workshops and courses from professionals. They are proud to empower these women from survivors to thrivers.

Project Summary

When women are referred to TLC they might be at a women’s refuge, or in emergency accommodation provided by Social Services, or in a rented flat or their own home. What they all have in common is a lack of stable finances. Their ex holds the finance cards. TLC wants to be ready to provide emergency support, in whatever form it takes. 

A donation from ICAP Charity Day 2020 enabled TLC to provide emergency support for their families during the Covid lockdowns. They were able to deliver regular parcels of food, fresh meat, vegetables and fruit, toiletries, vitamins, and nappies when many of their vulnerable families couldn’t go out.

We cannot thank ICAP enough for their support with this project which has kept our families safe and fed during a pandemic none of us could have anticipated – true emergency support
Julia Rawlinson, Co-Founder

ICAP Charity Day’s donation also supported TLC’s Healing through Horses programme.  Covid 19 accentuated the need for these sessions, encouraging families to reach out to nature and work alongside horses to help reduce anxiety and fear caused by the pandemic’s isolation.  

I was put in contact with TLC during the first lock down of 2020. Having had a baby in June 2019 and then leaving a domestic abuse relationship in Nov 2019. I was in a very difficult place emotionally and the isolation of lockdown was quite damaging for me. That is until TLC started to support me and my little boy, the support included food parcels plus nappies and clothes for the baby which I was struggling to provide myself. In addition to this the emotional support that I continue to receive from TLC is extremely important to my wellbeing, there has also been counselling as well as legal advice to support me in regards to my ex-partner. To put it simply, I honestly don't know how I would have coped without the help of TLC
TLC survivor

Healing through Horses offers experiential programs for the women and children at TLC, promoting life skills and emotional health through gentle, reflective equine assisted activities. Partnering with horses, families reconnect, regain self-confidence, build self-esteem and set healthy boundaries. Sessions are designed to help those who have survived domestic abuse to become empowered again, supporting personal growth and emotional wellbeing.

Horses are powerful teachers, teaching authenticity and how to be ourselves. Spending time with horses and clients through my Equine Facilitated Learning practice, I am constantly in awe of how horses help bring about positive change. Their ability to tune into our vulnerabilities never ceases to amaze me and for those who take part. Thank you ICAP Charity Day for helping to fund these much needed programmes for the courageous women and children at TLC, providing positive outcomes and transformation for the families involved
Michele Lawrence – TLC Volunteer & LEAP Practitioner at Healing through Horses

There is increasing recognition of the value of equine facilitated learning in the traditional field of mental health with growing evidence to support the effectiveness and positive outcomes of partnering with horses in a therapeutic environment.