£1415 Raised for the Womens Refuge!


The St Albans & District Soroptimists raised a wonderful £1415 for the St Albans and Hertsmere Women’s Refuge in the club year 2013/14 – even though the Club supported 2 charities again this year!  Sara Jackson and Liz Perry, Managers at the Refuge, were thrilled when the cheque was presented to them by the Club. In the picture in the middle of the Club Members is Soroptimist President Denise holding the giant cheque with Sara and Liz. Also in the picture is a large bag of tea – as well as fundraising, the club provides tea, coffee and sugar for the Refuge, household items to help women leaving the Refuge get started in a new home and Christmas gifts.

Sara and Liz said how grateful the Refuge is for the continued support of Soroptimist International St Albans and District Members. They gave an update on the Refuge – there has been a major turnaround in staff in the last year – of 14 staff, 7 had left and had to be replaced. Going forward there will be an additional 3.5 posts.  It is Sara and Liz who provide the continuity at the Refuge. Refuge Staff are now going into two local schools – Townsend and Samuel Ryder – with a programme on “Understanding your Worth”, working with children displaying risky behaviour and living in abusive relationships. The women they care for are fragile and vulnerable – often with complex needs including mental health issues and drug and alcohol problems. They have 22 residential rooms for women and their children and their outreach work reaches 100 women a month. They need to keep 96% occupancy but it has been 100% since January 2014. It was mentioned that there are 275 Refuges in Scotland, England and Wales but 1,000+ animal sanctuaries…

The money is raised during the year from a range of events including the Charity Car Park in Welwyn Garden City www.sigbi.org/st-albans-and-district/2014/charity-car-park-great-result-for-refuge/ Christmas Carol Singing at St Albans station www.sigbi.org/st-albans-and-district/2013/shake-rattle-and-sing/ and the bookstall on St Albans market for International Literacy Day www.sigbi.org/st-albans-and-district/2013/literacyday2013/ One Club Member, Judy Faraday, is an Archivist for John Lewis: if Judy is offered donations for her talks to community groups on the history of John Lewis then it goes to the Refuge