A safe, just and equal world for women

Advance charity founders receive Freedom of the Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

May 26, 2023
Advance’s founders Bear and Beryl received Freedom of the Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham to honour their vast contribution to women’s rights and supporting domestic abuse survivors. This comes as Advance celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

Founders of Hammersmith based domestic abuse and women in the criminal justice system charity Advance, Bear Montique OBE and Beryl Foster OBE, received Freedom of the Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham today.

The Freedom of the Borough is the highest honour that a Council can bestow and the tradition is maintained so public recognition can be given as an express of thanks to outstanding people.

This is especially poignant because Advance celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2023 and currently supports over 9,000 women and children.

Bear Montique OBE, founder of Advance, said:
“I’m accepting this award on behalf of all those brave survivors who over the last 25 years helped shape what Advance’s purpose is. I learnt from them what a good service should look like. Our aim from the beginning was to provide a service from the point of a first police call out until the survivor no longer needed our support. Hammersmith & Fulham were a key player in our early days. I hope Hammersmith & Fulham will continue to see Advance as a vitally needed service and continue to support them both financially and strategically, keeping safety of survivors as a core objective of the borough.”
Beryl Foster OBE, founder of Advance, said:
“In accepting this award I’m hoping that Hammersmith and Fulham Council will always be very proud of all the ground-breaking achievements here, and hope that they will keep that great tradition alive and active in the years ahead. We got into this work in the first place to change the systems which routinely marginalise the needs of women and children and which we were all agreed, were failing the survivors of domestic violence.”
Christine Losecaat, MBE, Chair of Trustees at Advance said:
“Bear and Beryl are inspirational women who have transformed the lives of 1000s of women in Hammersmith and Fulham, and beyond. Advance is honoured to carry on the invaluable work that they started.”



For all press enquiries, please contact:

E: press@advancecharity.org.uk 
T: 020 3953 3111

About Advance
  • Advance’s vision is a world in which women and children lead safe, equal, violence-free lives so that they can flourish and actively contribute to society. The charity works with women who experience domestic abuse to be safe and take control of their lives, and women who have committed crime or are at risk of offending to break the cycle.
  • As well as providing direct support, Advance works with statutory services, government agencies and other women’s charities to ensure a holistic approach to the issues these women face.
  • Women must be referred to Advance, via statutory services or the charity’s self-referral scheme. For more information about who Advance is able to support, please visit Get Help
  • For facts and statistics about domestic abuse and women in the criminal justice system, as well as Advance’s work, please visit Our Impact


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