Early this week, Women’s Aid Orkney were delighted to kick-start a refuge refurbishment with delivery of new chairs. The support rooms, used by refuge tenants and members of the public, have benefited from the upgrade. This is thanks to an impressive donation from the Bisgeos Run totalling £2785.00.
The new additions are inviting, comfortable, safe and durable… words that simply didn’t describe the old chairs. Unfortunately, like much of the furniture in the refuge, they’d seen better days.
So the donation has helped bring a new lease of life to the rooms where women affected by domestic abuse can access free and confidential support from specially trained workers. Michelle Ward, Service Manager explained:
“It seems like a small thing, but chairs are essential to the welcoming and supportive environment that we provide to over 100 women in Orkney every year. We want women to feel safe and comfortable when they come to us and this small change has already been well received.
“Women’s Aid Orkney would like to thank the organisers, the participants and everyone who sponsored the Bisgeos event in Westray last August.
“Updating the support rooms has only been possible thanks to donations. We are always humbled by the support we see from the community time and time again.”
Yet there is a long way to go. This marks the beginning of a refuge refurbishment programme Women’s Aid Orkney is hoping to be able to progress in 2019. The furniture in the three refuge flats are showing signs of wear and tear. And it’s no wonder, having offered a home to 45 women and 54 children over the last five years alone.
Accessing our service can be a very daunting & scary time for women and families. Often they will not have had the opportunity to make their own life-choices due to domestic abuse. And they can arrive with little or no belongings. That’s why having somewhere that looks & feels homely is vital. Our aim is to empower women and children to live a safe and independent life of their choosing. For some, coming into refuge is the first step on this journey and we need to ensure that it is safe, secure, comfortable and family friendly.
We need your help
As a small charity, Women’s Aid Orkney’s funding covers staff and operational costs only. So, continued improvement of the facilities will only be possible with further support from the community. That’s why Women’s Aid Orkney would like to encourage people to get involved in fundraisers throughout 2019.
Upcoming fundraiser – bags of help
First off, we’re included in Tesco’s Bags of Help during May and June. Just look out for the tokens at the checkouts and you can vote for Women’s Aid Orkney to receive a further cash boost to help with the refuge refurbishment.