Donations flood in for South West Women’s Refuge as difficult festive season looms for many

Headshot of Jackson Barrett
Jackson BarrettSouth Western Times
Zonta Club members Carol Carter, Bronwyn English and president Tyril Houghton with South West Women's Refuge chief executive Ali White.
Camera IconZonta Club members Carol Carter, Bronwyn English and president Tyril Houghton with South West Women's Refuge chief executive Ali White. Credit: Jackson Barrett/South Western Times

South West residents are doing everything they can to help people in need this Christmas, with donations flooding in to organisations like Bunbury’s South West Women’s Refuge bringing “tears of joy”.

Bunbury’s Zonta Club on Wednesday made a significant donation of toiletries, sanitary items, food and other gifts to the refuge as part of its Christmas drive, which included the packaging of 20 boxes in 20 minutes by Kingia Z-Club members at Bunbury Senior High School.

SWWR chief executive Ali White said it had been a particularly difficult year for many of the women and children who have escaped domestic violence and the extra support would make a huge difference.

“It has been a difficult year for a lot of people,” she said.

“We have noticed a big difference in the COVID space, a lot more crisis situations rather than planned escapes, so women and children are actually fleeing their houses as a result of an incident.

“When the women and children come to the refuge and into our services, many of them don’t have access to funds at all.

“Honestly, the tears of joy from mums and kids and the excitement when they see the presents come through the door are just marvellous.”

Zonta Club Bunbury president Tyril Houghton said it was a “monumental step” for women to seek help and the club was proud to be able to help support them.

“These were donated by Zontians and some of the kids brought stuff in as well and they then wrapped 20 boxes in 20 minutes, which was just amazing,” she said.

“They chose for them to go to the South West Women’s Refuge because there are a lot of people at the moment who are suffering from domestic violence and are needing to not be at home.

“It is possibly the first time some of them will have Christmas with nobody else to by for them.”

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