For many years our club was involved in the Women’s Refuge as it was then known.. That relationship was revived in 2018 when the staff at the newly named Swindon Women’s Aid (SWA) trained our members for a Court monitoring project.
Members were invited by the High Sheriff at the time Nicky Alberry to attend her Violence Against Women forum in Jan 2019, and discovered she is also the Chair of SWA. After a more detailed meeting she expressed her keenness to expand our relationship so that we could mutually support each other in various projects, particularly their new Charity Shop in Swindon town centre.
Our club members started to ensure all unwanted clothes, books, DVD’s, household items were taken to them, also spreading the word to a local business women’s groups, Ladies Who Latte, for additional support.
In March 2019 we took a quantity of bras, household linen and rucksacks that SWA had requested for clients.
After the launch of the Charity shop we continued donations throughout 2019 with over 20 large bags of clothes, books, DVD’s and household items for them to sell. We were supported by several donations from Marlborough Ladies Who Latte.
SWA gave assistance in setting up our club’s Railing Against Abuse event in Nov 2019 as Nicky Alberry now Deputy Lieut. of Wiltshire, had several useful contacts at STEAM and the Swindon Advertiser.
Nicky and 3 of her staff joined us on the march through Swindon on Nov 25th and Nicky gave an eloquent speech on violence against women and the work of the SWA at the Reception afterwards at STEAM.
At the beginning of 2020 we continued with donations of clothes, books, DVD’s etc. for the Charity shop. As Lockdown started to impact the SWA funds we made a donation of £100 from Club funds to keep their work going.
One of the few organisations providing 24 hour Helpline, we advertised this on our Club & personal Facebook too. Once the shop re-opened we enlisted the help of friends, family and Ladies Who Latte to provide a dozen more bags between June and October, including one set of ladies who created an additional 7 trolley loads of clothes!!