Staff at Fife Women’s Aid are hoping to bring some festive cheer to women, children and young people affected by domestic abuse.
The organisation has launched its annual campaign which sees it appealing to various organisations, the public and businesses for unwrapped gifts and money to give the people who use its services.
Keri Duffy, children and young people’s team leader at Fife Women’s Aid, said: “The Christmas appeal has been running successfully for a number of years now. As part of it, we are applying to various organisations and businesses for gifts for women, children and young people, both through organised applications and repeat donations.
“We have been lucky with the feedback we have had in previous years.
“We have had a great response from organisations and businesses, but also the public is always very generous in its response.
“Last year we received enough gifts to distribute to hundreds of people that we deal with.
“We have even received donations from children who are aware of our services and the appeal, and want to help other children.”
Keri explained what they are looking for: “We would appreciate any unwrapped toys, clothes, pyjamas, underwear, toiletries, vouchers, perfume, hair dryers, etc – anything that can be passed on as presents for the women, children and young people.
“We also support boys up to the age of 18 so anything that would suit boys, including teenagers, would also be useful.”
Unwrapped presents for women affected by domestic violence would also be welcome.
“It is important to remember that some of the women we support have no family around them and, therefore, will not receive gifts themselves,” added Kerry.
There is also an appeal to fund raise if anyone would like to donate money.
“We are looking for cash donations,” Kerry added. “If you donate £10 that would buy top up cards to give to women when they first move into refuge.
“And £50 would buy essential groceries for a woman and child coming into refuge – and £100 would allow us to buy vital items that are left behind when fleeing a violent situation.”
A £500 donation helps the organisation provide the necessary support to help a woman move into refuge, while £1,000 would support its counselling service, £2,000 would help provide a 24-hour on call service and £5,000 – would fund workers to provide essential support and advice.
The appeal, which closes on December 13, is massively important to those Fife Women’s Aid supports.
Kerry added: “Due to changes in a family’s circumstances some would struggle to be able to afford presents for Christmas.
“Having gifts for mums to give their children relieves the stress and financial strain at Christmas ensuring there is one less thing for them to worry about.
“And being able to give presents to women who may be alone at Christmas can make a massive difference to their emotional wellbeing – it lets them know that someone cares.
“It also helps to keep things as normal as possible for children and youngsters.
“Domestic abuse is a constant throughout the year, but families tend to try and stay together over the festive season, to make it normal for the children.
“There seems to be a rise in calls and reports of domestic abuse just after Christmas. Unfortunately, the number of women, children and young people needing support continues to rise yearly.”
The four main drop-off points are: Linton Lane Community Centre, Kirkcaldy; the Corn Exchange, Cupar; the Dell Farquarson Centre, Dunfermline; Glenrothes – Fife Women’s Aid Offices, Saltire Centre.
People are asked to call FWA on 01383 732 289 or 0808 802 5555 prior to using a drop off point. You can donate financially by cheque made payable to Fife Women’s Aid’ or follow the Just Giving link at www.fifewomensaid.org.uk.
Electronic transfer cash using the reference Christmas Appeal to s/c: 80-11-00 a/c: 06079146 – please also email email@example.com with your contact and donation details.