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Bury St Edmunds Women's Refuge to receive £5,000 from East of England Co-op's Community Cares Fund




The Bury St Edmunds Women’s Refuge is to receive almost £5,000 to help it to provide a safe space and mental health support for children affected by domestic abuse.

The centre is among several refuges and organisations to receive a pot of £4,600 after the East of England Co-op donated £45,000 from its Community Cares Fund to help young people impacted by domestic abuse.

The East of England Co-op donated the money, which will be distributed by the Suffolk Community Foundation, after having spoken to refuge centres in Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex about the pressures being faced and the needs of those who use the services.

Andrea Pittock, head of grants at Suffolk Community Fund (36748461)
Andrea Pittock, head of grants at Suffolk Community Fund (36748461)

It was also inspired to help the centres after a survey carried out by Women’s Aid in April showed that social distancing had forced women to spend more time with their abuser and had worsened the abuse.

Tina Hickey, principal operations manager of the Bury Women’s Refuge, said: “During Covid-19 we have adapted the way we deliver our work to families while sticking to the government guidelines to keep everyone safe.

“It is the generosity and support from the Co-op that enables us to continue our work with women, young people and children and be that ‘anchor’ for others.”

She added that child support workers had stayed in touch throughout lockdown and had provided children with various activities and learning opportunities.

“The garden has been set up with materials to plant and grow vegetables, each child has been provided with activity packs bespoke to their age and needs, and telephone support has been provided to help with schoolwork,” said Tina.

Niall O’Keeffe, joint chief executive for the East of England Co-op, said: “We are proud to be working with the Community Foundations across our region to deliver a new grants programme to support children impacted by domestic abuse.

“I would like to thank our members who have generously donated all or part of their dividend to the Co-op Community Cares Fund. It is thanks to them that we are able to provide this support.”


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