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Bridges - Support for victims of Domestic Abuse in Tameside

Bridges is the domestic abuse service within Tameside commissioned by TMBC. Jigsaw has run the service since October 2013, and the contract has recently been extended.

Jigsaw Support offers a specialist domestic abuse service called Bridges, which provides an outreach service for all and refuge provision for women and their children at risk.  In addition, they offer dispersed properties to occasions when the refuge is not appropriate/accessible.

The Bridges team has a range of specialist workers; these include Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs), Keyworkers, Safe Accommodation Keyworkers, Recovery Keyworkers and Child Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (CHIDVAs). IDVAs address the safety of victims at high risk of harm from partners, ex-partners or family members to secure their safety and the safety of their children.

IDVAs work with their client from the point of crisis and serve as a victim’s primary point of contact. After assessing the level of risk, they discuss the range of suitable options and develop the appropriate safety plans.

Safety plans are tailored to the client’s needs; they include emergency accommodation, civil/legal protection, signposting to other agencies and court support.

A Keyworker’s role is similar to that of an IDVA; however, they work on cases where clients are considered at standard or medium risk.

Safe Accommodation Keyworkers work in partnership with Tameside Housing Advice.  They support victims fleeing abusive situations to secure safe accommodation, or target-harden their existing home.  Safe Accommodation Keyworkers provide a similar level of support during this process to victims as Keyworkers.

Recovery Keyworkers work in partnership with our women’s refuge.  They support victims who are still impacted by trauma following the abuse suffered, but whom are not currently at any risk.  Recovery Keyworkers specialise in supporting victims get back into the community.  They also support women and men transitioning from temporary accommodation into longer term housing.

Lastly, the role of the CHIDVA in Tameside is to provide support to children (age 6 – 17 years) who have been impacted by their experiences of DA, either in the family or home or in their own dating relationships.  We offer 1-2-1 or group support for children and also deliver teenage relationship workshops in high schools across Tameside.  Children’s social care has committed funding for two CHIDVAs to support children who have/are being affected by domestic abuse within the family home.

Support work is completed one-to-one, with some planned sessions around domestic abuse. Specialist workers also attend the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) daily, working alongside Greater Manchester Police, Children’s Social Care, health and education.  In addition to providing more collaborative working, we triage daily high risk incidents to ensure any immediate safeguarding is completed.

Bridges also offer a wide range of specialist courses. These have been developed to increase awareness, help people identify abuse, learn about appropriate relationships and improve self-esteem.

Referral forms

The following forms should only be completed by a professional. These are NOT FOR SELF-REFERRAL. Please consult the guidance below, and if you have any questions, contact us at

  1. Complete the CAADA/Safelives DASH assessment. If any of the criteria for a referral to MARAC are met (set out in the guidelines at the start of the DASH questions), then the remainder of a MARAC referral must be completed and uploaded to SharePoint (you should have a lead/designated officer with access to SharePoint, but if not you need to make contact on the following; The referral is then be allocated to an IDVA.
  2. If none of the MARAC criteria is met, but support is required to complete the remainder of the Bridges referral. Section 5 needs to be completed if applying for refuge accommodation at Ruffley House. Would you please email the completed referral to If you are solely applying for Refuge accommodation, please ring 0161 339 8755 or 0800 328 0967 to see who the referral should be sent to.
  3. Any case without a completed DASH will likely be returned for completion – this can result in a delay in any support being offered to a client/family.


Bridges Referral Form


MARAC Referral Form


Useful information

Bridges leaflet

This leaflet provides helpful information for victims of domestic abuse, such as what to do if they are planning on leaving, contact details for various domestic abuse services and more. Copies of this leaflet have been distributed across Tameside, but you can download the online version here. 

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