BOLTON actress Maxine Peake has urged people to support the town’s domestic abuse refuge.

In a video posted to Twitter by Fortalice, Maxine, one of the charity's patrons, explains why she supports the organisation.

She said: “The covid-19 crisis has thrown victims and abusers together behind closed doors for weeks. Abuse takes no notice of wealth or status. It happens to women, children and men, right across society.

“Fortalice gives refuge and support to people facing hidden abuse. It turns lives around.

“But they’re now faced with increased demand, and this will keep rising even as lockdown eases. To meet this urgent need, they must raise funds. I support Fortalice, can you?”

Her plea comes just seven weeks after the charity launched a campaign to help make up a £200,000 annual shortfall, with Fortalice less than £2,500 away from its initial £25,000 milestone.

Chief executive of the charity Gill Smallwood said: “We have been completely overwhelmed by the level of support from ordinary people who appreciate Fortalice and all it does for local families.

“We have had donations from all over the borough and beyond. One woman who had been a resident at the refuge years ago sent a cheque for £500.

“She hadn’t been able to donate until now but was so grateful for the help she received when she needed it all that time ago. Fortalice made a difference to her life.”

Visit to donate.