A SERVICE supporting male victims of domestic violence is expanding its work in Bradford from next week.

Men Standing Up (MSU), run by Bradford Cyrenians, will offer a new service, Crash Pad, from Monday.

This will offer an additional two emergency beds in the Bradford district for men who have been referred to the group after becoming victims of domestic abuse.

This extension to MSU's service has been funded following a two-year grant from Bradford Council.

Crash Pad offers the men safe accommodation at sites in the Bradford district.

Its helpline, which was set up in December last year, has already taken 80 calls.

The service has also had 51 referrals from organisations including the police and is so far working with 16 victims.

Crash Pad will add to its pool of 12 emergency beds for men.

It has received an initial two years funding of £15,000 from the Department for Communities and Local Government after a bid was submitted on Bradford Cyrenians' behalf by Bradford Council.

The service also offers legal, benefits and access advice to the victims.

MSU was set up after receiving a £234,000 lottery grant. It has been further boosted by a £135,000 donation from The Henry Smith charity.

Humayun Islam, MSU service manager, says the service has gone from strength-to-strength since it started up last year and has even received calls from across the country.

He said: "It's a vital service. There is a massive need for it.

"The service is going really well at the moment. We have received lots of positive feedback.

"The fact that we took 20 calls in April alone shows that people are getting to know our services and getting to know us.

"The majority of the men that are referred to us come from Bradford but we are also getting referrals from Leeds, Leicester and Birmingham.

"Men who suffer from domestic abuse are now more confident to come forward for help.

"They now know that there is a service that supports them and builds their confidence to speak out.

"It is a weight off their shoulders.

"Crash Pad will give men a real opportunity to move out of their abusive environment.

"To have more than 50 referrals shows that the support for our service has been good.

"The response to us has even increased since we had our official launch event in March.

"It's important that men come as early as possible from when they suffer domestic abuse in a relationship."

Bradford Cyrenians, based in Manningham Lane, is a non-profit making organisation which provides a direct access emergency hostel and a range of supported housing accommodation for single homeless men.

MSU is looking for volunteers, who would receive training, to help staff its helpline. For more information, call 01274 214631 or go to bradfordcyrenians.org.uk.

Its free confidential helpline number is 0300 303 0167.