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Bournemouth Women’s Refuge appeals for help to complete much-needed refurb

BCHA’s Bournemouth Refuge is appealing for help to complete the second stage of the much needed refurbishment of its flats for families who have fled domestic violence. 

BCHA’s Bournemouth Women’s Refuge is appealing for help to refurbish accommodation used by families fleeing domestic abuse.

Bournemouth Women’s Refuge is operated by charitable housing association BCHA with support and funding from BCP Council and offers self-contained and shared flats in confidential locations, with trained and experienced staff available 24-hours a day to provide practical and emotional support to customers.

Refuge Support Worker Faith Shimongola said: “Women and their children come to the refuge from all over the UK to try to build a new life, free from abuse.

“They arrive frightened and often with little more than the clothes on their backs.

“The refuge provides a safe haven for them and their children, and we want to make it as welcoming a place as possible. So, we have launched a project to completely overhaul our accommodation.”

The refurbishment project aims to replace drab and outdated décor and old furniture and appliances and make the flats and communal areas brighter and more modern and welcoming.

Faith continued: “During this last year and despite the difficulties caused by Covid, we have achieved some amazing results, transforming half of our 18 flats and rooms with new decor, furniture and flooring. But we need help to complete the project and we are hoping local people and businesses will come to our aid.”

Refuge Support Worker Amy Smith said: “We have already had some tremendous support – Brewers donated £500 of paint and Dulux has also donated £3000 of paint – enough to decorate all the accommodation.

“But our biggest need going forward is new flooring.

“We have replaced some of the outdated and very worn brown flooring with easy to clean, grey laminate flooring.

“If a local flooring company was able to donate some more of this, this would be simply incredible.”

The flats awaiting refurbishment also require new white goods and cookers, as well as new lounge and dining furniture.

Faith said: “A cooker might not seem like a luxury to most of us. But a new cooker in one of our flats enables a desperate woman who has fled abuse to cook meals for her children for six months.

“We know there are many generous companies and individuals out there and hope they will come forward.

“This is an opportunity to contribute to the healing process for the hundreds of families affected by domestic abuse who come to us each year.

“We look forward to hearing from people who could help and to sharing far and wide the news of their generosity.”

Anyone who would like to make a cash donation or donate new flooring, cookers, white goods, furniture or soft furnishings is asked to email: abusesupport@bcha.org.uk

Any UK resident woman aged 16 and over, with or without children, who has been subjected to any form of domestic abuse can access one of the BCHA Refuges in Bournemouth and Poole. Both refuges also offer outreach and drop-in services to men and Poole Refuge also has a male space.

Contact: 01202 710777 (24 hours) or email: abusesupport@bcha.org.uk

You can also call the National 24-hour Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 which is able to support anyone throughout the UK looking to find a refuge space to escape domestic abuse.

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