A Kendal based charity is opening Cumbria’s first male safe accommodation.

The initiative has been launched by Springfield, a charity dedicated to helping South Lakeland residents live free from domestic abuse.

It has been made possible thanks to a £200,000 social investment from Kendal's Francis Scott Trust.

Springfield’s CEO Tori O’Callaghan-Lake said: "This social investment loan has enabled us to open a second supported accommodation service, this time for male victims/ survivors of domestic abuse.

"It will provide short term emergency accommodation and valuable support to men at the greatest risk of harm and homicide due to domestic abuse.

"This will be the first accommodation service of its kind in Cumbria and we expect demand for it to be high."

Elaborating on the gravity of male domestic abuse, she continued: "The Office for National Statistics show every year that one in three victims of domestic abuse are male.

"That’s 757,000 men to 1.561m women.

"Yet according to Safelives data only 4.4% men are being supporting by local domestic services.

"The more awareness there is of male domestic abuse, the less taboo surrounds the issue and the more men will contact us for support."

Having supported vulnerable people since 1915, Springfield's services also include a refuge for women and children, and community based assistance.

The Francis Scott Trust, which provided the social investment, exists to support not-for-profit organisations.

Chair of trustees, Steve Curl, said: "We are proud to partner with Springfield and to play a part in bringing this important and much needed resource.

"Springfield is an excellent, long standing organisation providing quality support to individuals at a critical time in their lives.

"The new accommodation will expand their capacity and the Trust welcomes the opportunity to utilise our social investment programme in support of this provision."

Other contributors to the new safe accommodation include The Stephenson Trust, Lupton Tower Trust, The Roselands Trust, The Screwfix Foundation, the myLakeland Community Fund, administered by Cumbria Community Foundation, Kendal and District Lions Club, Howdens, and a generous number of private donations.

Springfield plans to welcome the first residents to the new male safe accommodation service by June.