I consider myself a very lucky person. I come from a strong and close, albeit slightly odd family and I’m supported by some incredibly wonderful friends and one particularly awesome Boomerang (who I probably don’t big up enough). The people in my life give me strength when I need it, care for me when I need picking up and brushing off and treat me with nothing but respect and love. Not everyone is as lucky as I am.
Every day, Refuge supports 3000 women and children who have fled abusive relationships and families. Often these women leave in the middle of the night, not daring to collect their belongings, leaving with little to nothing. Domestic violence can affect anyone and it’s charities like Refuge that help women to find the strength to uproot their children, leave the life they know and start completely afresh
It is estimated that one in four women will experience domestic violence in their life time – that’s one quarter of women. That’s craziness. An awful statistic. But charities like Refuge, Women’s Aid and Eaves for Women (to name just a few) do their utmost to care for these women at what I can only imagine is a terrifying and emotional time – and that doesn’t stop at Christmas.
I was trawling the internet yesterday lunchtime when I came across Refuge’s Christmas Gift List Appeal, encouraging people across the country to make a small contribution to the work this charity do by buying a Christmas gift for a woman or a child escaping domestic violence.
The Refuge Gift List is a range of affordable treats for both women and children starting from as little as £5. For every purchase, Refuge receive a John Lewis gift voucher, which their team will use to purchase the same or similar gifts (they do this to protect the addresses of the women, avoiding a high number of deliveries turning up at safe houses).
If you’d like to buy a gift from the list it’s really easy:
- Go to www.johnlewisgiftlist.com
- Click on Buy a Gift and enter the gift list number 564013 (there’s no password needed)
- Browse through the gifts and purchase the gift (or gifts) of your choice.
I picked up a really nice handcare duo for £12 – not much but just a little something to help make what must be a difficult time of year a little bit easier for women I wish I could help in more ways. This really isn’t as big a gesture as I wish I could make but it’s something at least. I hope you’ll be inspired to get behind this amazing scheme, that I think really underpins what Christmas is all about.
I’ll leave you with a few words from Julie, a woman who was staying in a refuge last Christmas and benefited from this same scheme:
“I want to thank you all for bringing me back to life. Your support, through the wonderful Christmas presents, beautiful food and messages made me smile again and feel hopeful for the future. With people like you in the world, I know my kids and I can start over. Thank you for all the wonderful presents and support. My children were so happy with what Santa brought them.”
You can also support Refuge by signing up for Emerald Street this month too – they’re donating £1 for everyone who signs up in December. It’s also a cracking read at 11am too – so don’t miss out on the chance to get something lovely in your inbox and do something lovely for someone who needs it.