Bedford refuge’s online ‘wish-list’ aims to bring festive cheer to homeless women and children this Christmas

Staff at Stonewater Asian Women’s Refuge in Bedford are appealing to members of the community to help bring a little festive cheer to homeless and vulnerable women and their children staying at the shelter this Christmas. The refuge has set up an Amazon wish-list of much-needed items which can be purchased online and sent directly to the shelter at the touch of a button.

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 and often with nothing but the clothes on their back.

“The Christmas period can be a struggle for our residents who are separated from their friends, family and home. They have often had to leave their homes in a hurry, with no time to pick up any essentials, let alone any home comforts or toys,” says Sally Dyde, Stonewater’s Head of Supported Housing at Stonewater. “Our wish-list gift scheme gives you the chance to send a personal gift to women and their children in crisis who will be spending Christmas in our refuge this year. The list includes gifts ranging from essential toiletries and warm clothing, to special treats like books and chocolates. Each is listed on our Amazon wish-list with a short description, explaining exactly why it is needed and who will benefit.

“Even just a small box of toiletries can make a huge difference, bringing a little festive happiness and cheer in what can be a very difficult time for our residents.”

Staff at the refuge work throughout the holiday season to provide a Christmas meal for residents and to ensure that they have the support they need to make it through what can be a challenging time of year for many. Stonewater owns and operates foyers and two women’s refuges across the South of England.

Gifts for the refuge can be bought directly through the Amazon website here or by going to Stonewater’s wish-list scheme will continue to run through 2017.