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This Charity Sends Hundreds Of Christmas Presents To Abused Women

Refuge has been running the programme for over 20 years. Now they're asking for donations via a John Lewis gift list.

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Every year the charity Refuge, which looks after women escaping domestic abuse, sends hundreds of Christmas presents to the women in its care.

Refuge

The annual campaign, which has been going for over 20 years, aims to ensure women and children being looked after by Refuge still receive Christmas presents, even if they have few other possessions.

At that time we were supporting around 800 women and children on any given day and we could manage the gifting in-house – so individuals and corporate supporters would send the gifts to us and we would share them out across the women and children in our services. We were flooded with gifts and it took a lot of time to share out – we were literally holed up sorting and wrapping gifts – an important job and a lovely one but it all became a bit overwhelming
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Since 2014 we've been supporting 3,000 women and children on any given day, and our numbers of supporters has grown a lot too, so we're getting more gifting support, so the in-house option was no longer logistically possible. So we had the idea of creating an online gift list, much like a wedding gift list. Thanks to the generosity of supporters across the country we are able to give women and children multiple gifts. With the power and reach of social media it really has taken off – we have some amazing supporters for this campaign too (Caitlin Moran, Chris Addison) so they help propel this campaign yet further.

Refuge and @johnlewisretail are doing a great thing. You can go online and buy a present for a woman or child trying to restart their life..

Sarah Millican@SarahMillican75Follow

Refuge and @johnlewisretail are doing a great thing. You can go online and buy a present for a woman or child trying to restart their life..

11:13 PM - 18 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Supporters can buy presents for either mothers or children.

John Lewis

Many of the families have run away from violent households, often with few possessions. Some Refuge supporters buy toys for children, while others buy pampering kits and hairdryers for their mothers.

Last year the charity gave at least four presents to every single woman and child in their care.

King says she receives many emails from people who have used Refuge's services and "one of the overriding memories the majority of people share is the unexpected and fabulous support they received at Christmas".

I personally love to know that as a result of this fabulous initiative women and children will wake up on Christmas Day and feel supported and cared for – I always think about this 25 December and I know the wider Refuge team does too. It really matters to us and to the women and children we support – but we couldn't do it without the amazing support of our the general public. We're really lucky.

The giftlist can accessed by visiting the John Lewis website, entering the number '609505' and clicking 'Display List'. The charity is also providing Christmas support parcels directly.

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