Domestic abuse survivors can access "safe spaces" in Herefordshire bank branches where they will receive specialist support as part of an initiative which started here.

TSB said the initiative will enable more people to find help on their local high street, particularly as lockdown restrictions ease across the UK.

The scheme has been rolled out following three pilots in TSB's Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire branches over the past six months, with the help available at banks in Hereford, Ross-on-Wye and Ledbury.

Domestic abuse prevention charity Hestia partnered with the bank and local police forces to roll out the scheme.

The scheme was initially developed during the coronavirus pandemic in response to people suffering domestic abuse being trapped at home with their abusers.

Hestia has seen domestic abuse cases surge in the past year.

Hereford Times: TSB branches in Hereford, Ross-on-Wye and Ledbury are offering help to abuse survivors TSB branches in Hereford, Ross-on-Wye and Ledbury are offering help to abuse survivors

Sue Harper, head of domestic abuse prevention at Hestia, said: "During the pandemic, self-isolation has given abusers a new method of control over victims making it very difficult for them to get the help they need. As restrictions ease, it's vital that access to specialist domestic abuse support is readily accessible."

TSB branch staff have received specialist training to increase their confidence in responding to disclosures of domestic abuse and will provide victims with access to a safe space in their branch.

Victims, who do not have to be TSB customers, can use a private room to make telephone calls, speak to a trained staff member and contact the local police force if necessary.

Carol Anderson, director of TSB's branch network, said: "It's clear during lockdown victims of domestic abuse have had fewer opportunities to seek help safely.

"For some, going into their local bank will be one of the few connections they have with the wider community and in partnership with Hestia we'll be there to offer that support when they need it most."