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Women's refuge appeals for help

PUBLISHED: 10:48 20 March 2009 | UPDATED: 13:24 03 July 2010

WOMEN and their children who have suffered from domestic abuse will be able to find a safe haven in self-contained flats being opened in north Norfolk next month.

WOMEN and their children who have suffered from domestic abuse will be able to find a safe haven in self-contained flats being opened in north Norfolk next month.

The new refuge is the first rural sanctuary run by Leeway Women's Aid and will complement the outreach services it already provides for women in isolated communities.

The charity, which opened one of the first women's refuges in the country in Norwich in the mid-1970s, is also replacing its communal-style home in the city with a purpose-built complex of separate flats for single women and those with children.

It is hoped the “dramatic improvement” to the type of accommodation available will help women feel more settled and make them less likely to return to volatile partners.

Victoria Gifford, of Leeway, said it was “very positive” that more women appeared to be coming for-ward because of a greater awareness of help on offer - but the charity now had a huge shopping list of items to kit out the new homes.

It has teamed up with Jarrold department store to give supporters the chance to select a gift which will then brighten up the kitchens and bedrooms of women and children who are trying to rebuild their lives.

The refuge appeal list, held at Jarrold's Norwich store and online, gives people the chance to give the charity as little as £3.50, which would pay for a kitchen utensil, and up to £45 for a saucepan set.

Sixty-six duvet covers are needed, which cost £20 each, along with £4 pillowcases, jug kettles, sugar and tea canisters, ironing boards and towels.

Mandy Proctor, the charity's chief executive, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for Leeway to improve its services and help women and children that need to escape an abusive relationship. We really need people to help us, by buying something from the appeal list, which will be given to Leeway and used on a daily basis in the refuge by the women and children we support.”

To see the list, go to www. leewaysupport.org.uk and visit its “getting involved” and “fundraising” sections.

Purchases can also be made at Jarrold in Norwich or by calling the store on 01603 697215.

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