Dorchester refuge appeals for £5 gift cards to help homeless women and children over Christmas

Staff at West Dorset Women’s Refuge in Dorchester are appealing to members of the community to donate £5 gift cards or vouchers from stores such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Boots, to help bring a little festive cheer to homeless and vulnerable women and their children staying at the shelter this Christmas.

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 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,” explains Sally Dyde, Stonewater’s Head of Supported Housing.

“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 that they have the support they need to make it through what can be a challenging time of year for many.

Gift card donations can be dropped off or posted to Stonewater’s regional offices at Waverly House, 115-118 Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth BH8 8DY up until 24 December.