STAFF from a social housing association with homes in Weymouth and Portland are doing daily workouts in fancy dress to raise money for a domestic abuse federation.

12 members of the antisocial behaviour team at the Aster Group will be waking up bright and early each weekday for the next few weeks to get dressed up in fancy dress costumes and participate in a Joe Wicks workout while on a video call to their colleagues.

The activity will be to raise money for Women's Aid, a federation working to provide life-saving services in England and build a future where domestic abuse is not tolerated.

The antisocial behaviour team at the Aster Group works with agencies including the police and social services to keep people safe, either in their own homes or in a community where a perpetrator cannot find them.

The manager of the team, Claire, said: "At the beginning of the lockdown we had a look at some European statistics on domestic abuse because they were locked down in their homes sooner than we were.

"The statistics showed that, in some countries, domestic abuse had risen by 30% and as things progressed here our team saw an average increase of 25% so the team are dealing with that everyday which is tough. That made us get together and think about what we could do to add some value somewhere else and raise some money as we know charities who normally receive funding are struggling at the moment.

"We do, of course, acknowledge that men experience domestic abuse as well, however, we decided to raise money for Women's Aid because it does great work that feeds into government legislation and is fighting for a future free of domestic abuse."

The Aster group, which has social housing across Weymouth, Portland and East Dorset, began its fundraising on May 26 and has already exceeded their target of raising £500. The team are now setting themselves a greater challenge and are hoping to reach £1,500 by the end of the fundraising campaign on June 23.

So far, members of the team have been creative in their fancy dress costumes, with outfits including a princess, a banana, a bumble bee, Tina Turner and a deep sea diver.

Claire said: "We are pleased as a team that we are raising money for such a good cause but doing the challenge has also been great for our mental wellbeing. We know that there are benefits to doing exercise and it's also nice for us to have a laugh at the start of the day before we dive into some tough work so it's been a real positive for the team."

You can donate to the antisocial behaviour team at