Gift card appeal to bring festive cheer to women and children at refuge

Appeal to help women and children staying at refuge.
Appeal to help women and children staying at refuge.

A women’s refuge is asking people to donate £5 gift cards to bring a little festive cheer to homeless and vulnerable women and their children.

The good cause is requesting vouchers from stores such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Boots, which will be given to those staying at Bedford’s Santosh Asian Women’s Refuge.

Operated by social and supported housing provider Stonewater, the refuge provides safe and secure temporary accommodation for women escaping domestic violence and abuse who arrive at the project with their children in desperate circumstances. Often they have nothing but the clothes on their back.

Head of Stonewater’s supported housing Sally Dyde said: “The holiday period can be a very upsetting and difficult time of year for our residents who are separated from their family and home with very few comforts around them. “The experience can be particularly traumatic and upsetting for young children who may have had to flee their home in the middle of the night, leaving a favourite teddy or toy behind.

“A small donation of a £5 gift card which they can spend on buying essential items like warm clothing, toiletries, a child’s toy or special treat, can really make a difference and help to bring a little happiness and cheer to their lives during the festive season.”

Staff at the refuge work throughout the holiday season to provide a Christmas meal for residents and to ensure they have the support they need.

Gift cards can be dropped off or posted to Stonewater Housing Association, 5 Mill Square, Featherstone Road, Wolverston Mill South, Milton Keynes, MK12 5ZD.