Liz Perry, Manager of the St Albans and Hertsmere Women’s Refuge was delighted to receive a cheque for £2075 raised by the St Albans & District Soroptimists in the Club Year 2015/16.
Liz is pictured here (centre) receiving the cheque from Club President Denise Powell (right), and the Club’s liaison with the Refuge, Jennie Redford (left). Liz said the money would pay for their annual trip to the seaside and for a visit from the amazing Ark Farm to the Refuge. She was very appreciative of the personal donations of refreshment items from the members. As well as fundraising, the club provides tea, coffee and sugar for the Refuge (because “there is almost nothing that can’t be made better by a cup of tea”) household items to help women leaving the Refuge get started in a new home and Christmas gifts. Liz said how grateful the Refuge is for the continued support of Soroptimist International St Albans and District Members. The money is raised during the year from events including the bookstall on St Albans market for International Literacy Day www.sigbi.org/st-albans/2015/bookstall-2015/ , coffee mornings at the Wesley Coffee Shop in Harpenden and Christmas Carol Singing at St Albans station www.sigbi.org/st-albans/2015/carols/ and a very successful charity night at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans www.sigbi.org/st-albans/2016/theatre/
Unfortunately the future of the St Albans and Hertsmere Women’s Refuge is uncertain – it currently has 3 contracts with Herts County Council to deliver services in St Albans and Hertsmere for women’s refuge, children’s support and outreach services. They have 23 units providing a refuge environment for women and children; currently 23 women and 37 children are in their care and 18 clients needed the last 4 places. The outreach service supports 100 women. The council needs to reduce costs of service delivery and has therefore put the services out to tender from April 2017 – one issue is that because SAHWR is a Charity only one third of it’s finance comes from Herts County Council, and therefore it is likely that services will reduce. Soroptimists will be campaigning to prevent any reduction in service to support women victims of domestic abuse and their families, as they have been in other Soroptimist Groups where Refuge services have been cut or closed down completely following drastic cuts in the past few years of council funding of these type of services.
Soroptimist International St Albans and District – Women Serving the St Albans Community Since 1957