Torquay Ladies’ Lounge: “Creating a lifeline for local vulnerable women”

(Last Updated On: March 17, 2019)

Ladies’ Lounge is a women-only drop-in based on the top floor of the Salvation Army building in Market Street Torquay opening on Mondays 11.30-2.00pm and Wednesdays 1.30-4.00pm.

The women who attend suffer from mental health problems, are victims of domestic abuse, substance misuse and street workers. Trained volunteers provide a safe and friendly environment as they listen to ladies at a craft table or to those who just want to chill, and if necessary, signpost them towards specialist service providers.

Ros Ede set up Ladies Lounge and explains how it begun. “Having set up Torbay Street Pastors in 2007, my husband and I enjoyed 7 wonderful years with 130 volunteers and supported 22 new locations across Devon and Cornwall.

Retiring in 2014, I was asked by Torbay Safer Communities to set up a drop-in centre for vulnerable women in Torbay. For 4 years “Ladies Lounge” has catered for 1,954 attendees with over 140 different vulnerable women. We have served over 200 freshly cooked 200 homemade meals. I am proud of our strong team of volunteers and what they have achieved.”

The Ladies meet other vulnerable women at Ladies’ Lounge, where they talk, share experiences and feel less isolated. The craft table is set up during each session, women gain skills, create beautiful things to take home and use. During this creating time, their minds move away from their problems and instead they relax and focus on the activity. Creativity is known to reduce stress and anxiety.

A lady who routinely visits Ladies’ Lounge said, “I am so grateful for the care and support I have received from Ladies Lounge, if it hadn’t been for them, I would be living on the streets.”

Another said, “Everyone was very friendly; it was easy to be open without fear of judgement.”

For more information and to contact us, visit our website

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Kevin Dixon went to Audley Park – now Torquay Academy – and South Devon College when it was at Torre. After studying at Birmingham City University, he returned home because there’s nowhere else quite like Torquay. He then became involved in community and adult education, completed a PhD at Exeter University , and started writing about the weird and unknown side of town. He now Chairs Healthwatch Torbay and is involved in health and social care in the Bay.