We want to start by saying a huge thank you for all the support you’ve continued to give us during this challenging time.
It’s thanks to the generosity of our supporters that we’ve been able to continue supporting vulnerable women and families throughout the pandemic.
To stay updated on the work of our charity, please follow us on social media:
Looking Back on a Challenging Year
This year has been the most challenging that our charity has known since its inception. The pandemic began challenging us at the end of the last financial year, and the whole of this past year has seen us face three lockdowns, regional and local restrictions, and changes to our service delivery.
We have, however, had an incredible year, we have pulled together as an organisation, from trustees leaders, managers, staff teams, volunteers, service users and our supporters
The response we have had from our supporters has been overwhelming; we have won the hearts of many, shown how important our life-saving services are, found new supporters and followers, rejoiced in our talented and committed staff and raised huge amounts of awareness for what we do.
This year we have increased: our social media presence, visitors to our website and our income generation, in particular from our public appeals.
During this team, demand for our services has grown substantially. Domestic Violence & Abuse was recognised as a national crisis during the pandemic. From May 2020 to April 2021, the number of calls to our helpline quadrupled at their peak and requests for refuge accommodation outstripped demand by a factor of 30. We have supported over 7,000 women and families over the past year.
We want to say a massive thank you to all of our staff, volunteers and supporters who have helped us meet this increased demand.
Children and Young People’s Web Pages
We are pleased to share that our newly developed Children and Young People’s web pages will be going live at the end of July.
These web pages have been created to support children and young people affected by domestic violence & abuse. They are filled with helpful links, specialist resources and useful information aimed at helping young people better understand their experiences, access appropriate support and feel less alone during what can be an incredibly isolating time.
These pages also feature some beautiful artwork from some of the children in our refuges.
You will be able to view these web pages at: leedswomensaid.org.uk/children/
Make a Will Month Campaign
This September, Leeds Women’s Aid is partnering with a number of local solicitors to run our annual Make a Will Month. This campaign gives our supporters the opportunity to have their Will written or updated without having to pay the usual fees. Instead you will be invited to make a voluntary donation to our charity, helping support women and children affected by domestic violence & abuse.
Places are limited, so if you are interested in taking part, please get in touch with our Fundraising Team as soon as possible at: email@example.com
The whole of the country has been shocked, saddened and scared by the horrific events of the last few weeks, with the abduction and murder of Sarah Everard on her way home. There has been a huge reaction in Leeds and elsewhere in the press and media, online and on social media and on the street, in the workplace and in the home. This year, since 1st January and 3rd March when Sarah Everard was killed 27 other women were killed, including 93-year-old Eileen Dean and 20-year-old N’Taya Elliott-Cleverley.
A recent investigation by United Nations Women found that 97% of young women aged 18-24 have been sexually harassed, and 80% for women of all ages, with 96% of women saying they wouldn't report situations because they don't think it would change anything.
This can’t be right for our sisters, daughters, friends and colleagues.
Supporting Women and Families During Lockdown
Demand in the last year for our Domestic Violence & Abuse services has grown hugely, with helpline calls almost treble that of last year, referrals double and requests for refuge accommodation outstripping demand by a factor or 30.
During this last year, women and girls have told us:
We have received such support during such a difficult year for everyone, and we want to thank you all for continuing to support us.
A Day in the Life of a Children and Family Worker During Lockdown
Throughout the pandemic, our Children and Family Workers have continued providing specialist support for the children and families in our refuges.
Since the first lockdown came in, there has been an increase in the amount of telephone support given to residents. This is a good way for the Children and Family Workers to provide 1-2-1 support with the women and older children but when it comes to supporting younger children, this is best done face-to-face where possible.
One of the other challenges of the lockdown has been that there haven’t been any group sessions for the children or days trips for the families. The group sessions are a great way for the children to interact with other children and to build a positive relationship with the staff running the sessions. Without these sessions in place, it can be harder for the Children and Family Workers to form strong relationships with the children.
Another barrier is having to wear a mask which hides your facial expressions from others. This can be particularly difficult when working with very young children and children who have experienced trauma.
Despite these challenges, the most rewarding part of the job is having a positive impact on the children. Our Children and Family Workers give certainty and support to children at a very difficult time in their lives. Another highlight of the job is seeing the smiles on the children’s faces when passing on donated items to the families such as the Christmas gifts which were generously donated by our supporters.
Charity Shop Stock Appeal
Due to the various lockdowns and restrictions over the past year we have found ourselves with a shortage of Spring and Summer wear for the forthcoming season change over. If you have any suitable seasonal items that you no longer need, please consider saving and donating them to our charity shop once we are able to reopen on 12th April 2021. Please keep an eye on our social media and website for details of our shop events.
We want to start by saying a huge thank you for all the support you’ve given us throughout 2020. This has been a year like no other and we’ve had to adapt our services to meet the demand for support in these unprecedented times.
We couldn’t have done this without the generosity of our supporters.
Wishing you a happy and peaceful Christmas from the Leeds Women’s Aid team.
Charity Shop 5th Anniversary and Refurbishment
This year marks 5 years since our Leeds Women’s Aid charity shop opened its doors. Since we opened our shop in 2015, money raised through the shop has been used to help fund our vital Domestic Violence & Abuse support services. We couldn’t do this without our amazing staff, volunteers, supporters and customers!
Your impact over the past 5 years:
We have also recently had our charity shop refurbished. We hope you like the bright new colours which showcase our new branding and communicate our charity’s values and what we believe.
Our shop is temporarily closed due to the national lockdown. We look forward to welcoming customers back to the shop from Wednesday 2nd December. The shop address is: 102 New Road Side, Horsforth, LS18 4QB.
Leeds Women’s Aid Christmas Cards
We are pleased to announce that we are selling our very own Leeds Women’s Aid charity Christmas cards. The cards have been lovingly designed by the children staying in our refuges. The cards are being sold in packs of 12 which consist of 4 designs, for £2.99 (plus postage and packaging).
We will also be selling the cards in our Charity Shop which will reopen following the national lockdown. You can also check out our social media for details of how to purchase the cards online.
Buy a Gift for a Woman or Child in Refuge
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are encouraging our supporters to purchase Christmas gifts through Hope Revolution rather than collecting physical donations this year. The Hope Revolution website allows you to purchase Christmas gifts for the women and children in our refuges which will then posted to us free of charge.
You can purchase gifts for women and children in our refuges here: www.hope-revolution.org/leedswomensaid
Thank you for your support,
We want to start by saying a massive thank you for all the support you’ve given us over the past few challenging months.
You may have read about the increase in Domestic Violence & Abuse during the lockdown. We have been working hard to adapt our services to meet this increased demand despite experiencing an initial loss of income due to the cancellation of fundraising events and the temporary closure of our charity shop.
It’s thanks to the generosity of our supporters that we’ve been able to continue supporting vulnerable women and children.
To stay updated on the work of our charity, please follow us on social media:
Leeds Women’s Aid launches Live Chat service
In order to make sure everyone feels safe accessing our support services, we have launched a confidential online chat through the Leeds Women’s Aid website.
We have seen a huge demand for support during the pandemic, with helpline calls doubling and referrals increasing by more than 60%. Searches for refuge beds increased by 100% in one week, with women and families trying to find somewhere to flee to.
In order to access support, visit www.leedswomensaid.org.uk and click on the blue ‘Chat’ icon.
The Live Chat service is open:
Monday to Friday 1 to 3pm
Tuesday and Thursday 7:30 to 9:30pm
Leeds Women’s Aid Charity Shop reopens
We are pleased to announce that our charity shop has now re-opened following the easing of lockdown restrictions. Our shop team have worked tirelessly to ensure safety measures have been implemented throughout the premises including installation of hand sanitiser stations, Perspex till screens and a new one-way system to help maintain social distancing.
The shop has been replenished with new seasonal clothes and accessories so customers can stock up on summer staples such as playsuits, linen trousers and maxi dresses.
The shop opening hours are Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm and the address is 102 New Road Side, Horsforth, LS18 4QB. We can accept donations between 10am and 2pm on Mondays and Thursdays.
Thank you for your support,
Nik & the Team
This is an incredibly difficult time for everyone, and as a charity we are particularly worried about the safety of people who may be being forced to isolate with their abuser. As a local charity, our main priority is to ensure we can continue to deliver the vital services to help women and children in danger, as well as ensuring the families in our care are as safe as possible.
Supporting women and children during COVID-19
The outbreak means we’re facing unprecedented times. We’d like to reassure you that, we at Leeds Women’s Aid are making every effort to continue to provide all of our services whilst protecting our staff and service users.
In these difficult times, we are continuing to provide life-saving support for women and children affected by domestic violence and abuse. Drop-ins are temporarily suspended but our refuges, 24/7 helpline and IDVA service remain open. Some services are being offered remotely using computers and mobile phones. If anyone needs our support, they can contact us through the usual channels: call 0113 246 0401 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Charity Shop Closure and Donations
Due to the risk of COVID-19 and in line with government guidance the decision has been made to close our charity shop for the foreseeable future. We look forward to reopening again when it is safe and responsible to do so and welcome back our valued team of volunteers and loyal customers.
We would be very grateful for any online cash donations to help make up for this loss of income. Our shop in Horsforth is one of our most important streams of revenue to ensure we can continue to operate and without it, lives could be at risk.
Thank you for your support and I’ll be in touch again soon,
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