New ‘she-sheds’ help local women’s refuge residents find sanctuary

Caring staff from wealth management company Old Mutual Wealth in Southampton, have volunteered their time and DIY skills to transform two old storage sheds at South Hampshire Women’s Refuge into ‘she-shed’ garden getaways for residents.

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A team of 11 staff volunteers spent a day helping to spruce up and refurbish the two weathered wooden sheds which they transformed into two fabulous, furnished garden-house retreats for Refuge residents. The team also built an adjacent raised gardening bed for the women and their children to enjoy and grow herbs and vegetables.

South Hampshire Women’s Refuge, which is operated by social and supported housing provider Stonewater, offers safe and secure temporary accommodation for women escaping domestic violence and abuse, with the aim of helping them to eventually live independently in the community.

“We are incredibly grateful to the team of volunteers from Old Mutual Wealth who worked so hard to create these beautifully refurbished and decorated garden sanctuaries,” says Joanna Baker, Stonewater Service Manager. “Our residents are delighted with their new she-sheds which provide a quiet and comfortable oasis of calm for them to rest, relax and re-energise.”

Old Mutual Wealth’s volunteers contacted Stonewater in response to the Refuge’s Amazon wish-list appeal earlier this year. The company also funded the decorating materials and donated deckchairs and cushions for the project.

Richard Markham, Marketing Operations Manager at Old Mutual Wealth, says: “It was an honour to have the opportunity to volunteer and help the local community with this worthwhile project. The day itself was hard work but incredibly exhilarating, and knowing we have helped make a difference to the women and children at the Refuge makes the whole experience even more rewarding.”