our history

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Cheshire Without Abuse (now known as My CWA) is a charity that was founded in 1977 by the late Lily Jones. Lily was determined to help victims of domestic abuse to escape and it’s all thanks to her commitment to the cause that we are here today continuing to help families affected by domestic abuse.

Lily Jones

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Lily Jones was a “gritty and determined” woman who dedicated her life to helping people escape from their abusers. She arrived in Crewe in 1974 and, after running an action group that campaigned for women’s rights, she set up Cheshire Without Abuse and made plans to open a women’s refuge. She had the support of the local MP at the time, Gwyneth Dunwoody, but faced a long struggle to secure premises. Lily finally opened her women’s refuge in 1983.

The early days

Lily Jones worked tirelessly to get women and children away from their abusers from the moment she established Cheshire Without Abuse. In the early days, she ran a helpline from her own home and appeared in newspapers and on the radio to help promote her charity. On several occasions, Lily drove women across the country to escape from domestic abuse. She even fought for funding while fighting her own personal battle against breast cancer. Lily sadly lost that battle with breast cancer in 2003 – aged just 53 – but her commitment to helping families affected by domestic abuse lives on in the charity she set up.

My CWA: Lily’s legacy

Lily’s legacy lives on in the My CWA we know today. Our crisis accommodation has expanded and we now have six refuges where families can come to escape from domestic violence. At the Lily Jones Support Centre in Crewe, we offer a range of services, including drop-in advice, legal clinics, support groups and recovery programmes. We also offer counselling services and specialist support for children and young people affected by domestic abuse.

To find out more about the work we do, please have a read of the about and our work sections of this site. If you need help now – for yourself or a friend or relative – take a look at our get help pages.