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Swindon Soroptimists Bring Christmas Cheer for 5th year

For the 5th year running, Swindon Soroptimists have presented Christmas gift shoe boxes to the Swindon Nelson Trust Women’s Centre. The 25 boxes go to the vulnerable women who use the Centre, many of whom have difficult lives and often don’t get any Christmas gifts. The Club also donated clothes and household items well as Christmas chocolates for the hardworking, dedicated staff!

The Club have few members but have had great support from Marlborough Ladies Who Latte and Live Laugh Love clubs and all are inventive in finding unwanted and freebie items that can be included! Member Gillian Reed generously hosted our wrapping and filling event, joined by members Lydia Cardew and Valerie Nuttall. Each box contained over 25 different items collected over the year by members and friends.

Swindon President Valerie Nuttall, members Lydia Cardew and Gillian Reed with the 25 boxes

As Lydia Cardew, PA Officer says “These women have often difficult lives. We want them to know that people do care. We try to make the boxes useful and fun, with items such as scarves, toiletries, and pads / pens as well as a Christmas gift, crackers and chocolate”.

The centre, set up in 2014 provides a lifeline for women who are homeless, addicted or at risk of involvement with the criminal justice system. The service has greatly expanded recently and now has many more permanent staff, due to the recognition and funding received for the work they do.

The staff offer a wide range of services, ranging from Lunch Club, practical help, support in dealing with other agencies, to one to one counselling, group activities and peer support. The Nelson Trust’s ultimate goal is to reduce re-offending and help women to become safe, confident and free from abuse, addiction and other dependencies.

The boxes were handed over the following day to the staff at the Nelson Trust Women’ Centre, in time for their Festive lunch on Tues 17th Dec