Her Majesty The Queen visited a Refuge centre in south London earlier today (Tuesday).

The Refuge’s Gaia Centre, located in Lambeth, is a specialised Violence Against Women and Girls service and a community hub.

Since 2012, the Gaia Centre has worked to provide support for survivors of gender-based violence and abuse.

During her visit, Her Majesty met privately with survivors of domestic abuse, who shared their stories and experience of being supported by Refuge.

The Queen also visited the children’s playroom, hearing from the specialist staff about how children affected by domestic abuse or other forms of gender-based violence are supported by the centre.

News Shopper: The Queen met frontline staff during the previously-unannounced visitThe Queen met frontline staff during the previously-unannounced visit (Image: Stacey Osborne/Refuge/PA)

Accompanying The Queen was Chair of Refuge’s Board of Trustees, Hetti Barkworth-Nanton CBE, and interim CEO Ellen Miller.

Her Majesty spoke with Refuge’s frontline staff, including early years workers and the community outreach team.

She also interacted with members of the leadership team and representatives from Lambeth Council, which commissions the Gaia Centre service.

The Gaia Centre is one of the first services in the UK to offer a single point of access for those experiencing violence and abuse.

It currently provides confidential and non-judgemental support to more than 1,500 adults and 2,000 children in the Lambeth borough each year.

The centre provides support for survivors of domestic violence, sexual exploitation, trafficking, and forced marriage, as well as supporting victims of Female Genital Mutilation, and honour-based violence.

Her Majesty The Queen has a longstanding history of working to prevent violence against women.

Over the years she has worked to spotlight the efforts of domestic abuse charities, their work in supporting victims and survivors, both nationally and overseas, with the aim of breaking the taboo around the topic.

Her Majesty became Patron of UK Charity, SafeLives, in February 2021, and has frequently visited Refuge and Women's Aid in the UK.