The Caterham Rotary Club has joined forces with the Surrey Gift Appeal to support women who are living in local refuges this Christmas.
The Surrey Gift Appeal, which is run by a group of women from Caterham and Warlingham, supports women affected by domestic abuse through the giving of Christmas gifts donated by local people. This year it has received backing from community group, the Caterham Rotary Club, which will allow it to further extend its support across the county.
Now in its third year, the Surrey Gift Appeal was established especially to support women affected by domestic abuse through the Reigate and Banstead’s Women’s Aid refuge and ESDAS (East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services). Last year it was able to support every refuge space in the county including both the local provision and the refuges located in North West and South West Surrey.
Caterham Rotarian Roger Easter commented “We are very pleased to be able to support The Surrey Gift Appeal this year. We recognise that the stress and anxiety caused to individuals as a result of domestic abuse cannot be under estimated. Our donation to this appeal will enable the organisers to purchase further gifts which will go someway to making a difference to those who have suffered abuse from their partners.”
Running from now, right through the Christmas period, the appeal is looking for donations of toiletries, cosmetics, small luxury items such as chocolates, and other gift items. Once collected, they will be wrapped and delivered in time for Christmas to refuges and an outreach service across Surrey. Late donations can also be made right up to the 4th January as a further drop off will be arranged.
Sara Willcocks, who runs the appeal, said: “Many women living in fear of domestic violence and abuse, suffer in silence and aren’t able to reach out. Christmas can be an especially difficult time. The Christmas Gift Appeal is our way of letting them know that people care, and making sure they get a little treat at Christmas too. It is fantastic that the Caterham Rotary Club has joined us in supporting this cause and we’re incredibly grateful for their involvement.
“Between now and Christmas we’re looking for donations from the wider East Surrey community. The items we’re collecting need to be new, but they might be things that they already have, or they could just add a small item to their weekly shop. It could be one thing or a whole gift bag or box full. Either way, they will all be gratefully received.”
Charlotte, the Reigate and Banstead refuge manager, said: “As a small charity we really rely on the support from the local community. All of the families that live in the refuge have fled their homes, leaving behind all of their possessions. Anything that is donated goes straight to the families, who are incredibly grateful for your generosity.”
There are three refuge providers in Surrey, providing a desperately needed home and safe haven to women fleeing domestic violence at five different refuge locations. Together they have spaces for 30 women, and their children, at any one time.
One in four women and one in six men will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime – many of these on a number of occasions. On average, two women a week are killed by a current or former male partner.
Domestic abuse is not just physical; it can be emotional/psychological, sexual, financial, harassment, threats and verbal. It is under reported and may be trivialised by both those perpetrating the abuse and those experiencing it. It’s rarely a one-off event, but tends to escalate in frequency and severity over time.
ADDITONAL INFORMATION NOTES
Donation alert: New toiletries, cosmetics, luxury items, chocolates and gifts for the Surrey Women’s Gift Appeal, can be donated between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday, up to Saturday, 19 December. Anyone wanting to drop off after the Christmas period can do so until the 4 January. The drop points are: Elite Garages, Caterham on the Hill; Park & Bailey Estate Agents, Warlingham, Amano Coffee Shop in Warlingham and Louisa Graham Kitchens on the Croydon Road, Caterham. More information can be found: www.facebook.com/SurreyGiftAppeal
Suggested gift items:
• Make-up (please ensure all hygienic seals are in place)
• Nail varnish
• Manicure items
• Hand cream
• Face cream
• Deodorant sprays
• Hair gel/hair spray
• Hair brush
• Body scrub/face scrub
• Bath salts/ shower gel
• Box/ bar of luxury chocolate(s).
Note: please ensure that any perishable goods are within one month of sell-by date.
Contact: For further information, or to get involved, please call: Sara on 07976 941585 or Janet on 07970 407444. You can also follow us on Facebook: facebook.com/surreygiftappeal
About Reigate ad Banstead’s Women’s Aid
Reigate and Banstead Women’s Aid is a refuge for women and their dependent children who are fleeing domestic abuse. The charity provides access to temporary refuge in safe accommodation where service users can find protection from threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional). It also offers skilled practical help, advice and emotional support to enable service users to return to independent living, including a resettlement service and services for children.
The charity has a group home for seven women and their dependent children, and a move-on house for two women and their children. In these houses, women and children have their own bedroom, but all other facilities are shared. On average they support 35 women and 50 children per year.
East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services (ESDAS) is an independent local charity, offering specialist confidential support and advice to anyone affected by domestic abuse living or working in the borough of Reigate & Banstead and the Districts of Tandridge and Mole Valley.
ESDAS run a confidential helpline open Monday – Friday between 9am and 4pm. We also offer face-to-face support, where it is safe and appropriate. We provide advice and information on a range of issues including housing, dealing with harassment, benefits, children/child contact and criminal/civil law (including injunctions and divorce).
Anyone experiencing domestic abuse should call our helpline number in confidence on 01737 771350, or take a look at our website for information on support www.esdas.org.uk. There is a confidential answer phone outside of opening hours.