In recognition of International Womens’ Day 2014, SI Guildford (as we then were) decided to support one of the refuges run by Your Sanctuary in Surrey. Items donated included curtains, blankets, duvets and bedding, crockery and kitchen utensils. The items were delivered and hopefully, helped make a difference to the lives of women and children either whilst they are at the refuge or when they are in the process of leaving it.
Since that time we have donated numerous further household items, including beds and furniture to enable a former resident and her son to furnish their new home and funds to supply school uniforms to children in the Refuge.
In January 2019 we were pleased spend time at one of our meetings filling 12 handbags with an assortment of donated toiletries. The bags will welcome those arriving at the Refuge who may not have brought such items with them, and give them a handbag they can keep as their own.
During the Covid-19 pandemic we have been responding to Your Sanctuary’s request for rather more mundane – but nonetheless essential – households cleaning products, such as paper towels, detergents and toilet roll. We were pleased to be able to deliver a bumper pack of useful items in September 2020, supported by our kind local donors.
This year we had the idea of providing small gifts that the children living in Your Sanctuary could give to their mothers as presents for Christmas. We have provided fluffy socks, bars of Divine chocolate, luxury soap and bottles of shower gel, together with wrapping paper, string, sellotape, labels and cards, so that the children can wrap and decorate their own gifts. We hope that these simple things will bring joy and happiness to both the children and their mothers at this special – and rather unusual – time.
This work recognises the Soroptimist goal of improving the lives and status of women and girls through education, empowerment or enabling opportunities and in particular, our work in helping to eliminate violence against women and girls.