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Womens' refuge - advice please on donations (sensitive?)

(15 Posts)
LuisSuarezTeeth Thu 08-Jan-15 19:58:41

I'm helping to collect clothes for women and children for my local refuge. Also toiletries and other useful items.

Does anyone have suggestions as to particular things that would be nice/helpful/needed? If you've experienced a refuge or know about them, please let me know your thoughts. I hope this won't be upset anyone, just want to make sure I'm asking for the right kind of thing.

Thank you thanks

littleleftie Thu 08-Jan-15 20:59:04

My local refuge has an amazon wish list and I think many do.

LuisSuarezTeeth Thu 08-Jan-15 22:01:33

Thank you little, I'll have a look. I'm a bit new to this, doing it through a friend.

OldLadyKnows Thu 08-Jan-15 23:15:25

Ask the Women's Aid/Refuge group you want to help, what they need. This will vary from group to group and even month to month, depending on the people in the refuge, or moving on from there. Many will be rehoused with nothing to their names, so general household goods can help them to set up.

Also bear in mind most WA groups don't have much storage space.

heyday Thu 08-Jan-15 23:56:29

I know from experience that when my daughter moved into a refuge she was supplied with bedding but she had no kettle which she found difficult as these can be a bit expensive and for a while she had no money at all so couldn't buy one. I also know that most of the rooms have little storage area so that needs to be taken into account. I think it's wonderful that you are collecting for the women and children who are often incredibly vulnerable, well done.

MrsCakesPrecognition Fri 09-Jan-15 00:06:58

Phone them up and ask.

madwomanacrosstheroad Fri 09-Jan-15 00:08:23

Basically anything you d need if staying somewhere and had nothing. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, nappies, sanitary protection, underwear, comfortable clothing.....

Middleagedmotheroftwo Fri 09-Jan-15 00:10:03

Toys and books. Computers, stationary, cleaning materials, food.

RandomNPC Fri 09-Jan-15 00:13:35

There was a thread the other day that started off a bit trolly about food banks, it then discussed refuges and donations. I'm not sure if it's still up, it was in AIBU I think. MNHQ were going to delete it, then I think they changed their minds.

RandomNPC Fri 09-Jan-15 00:15:16

It was the last third or so of this:

LuisSuarezTeeth Fri 09-Jan-15 00:41:06

Thanks all.

The lady I'm helping wasn't specific about needs. That's why I'm asking smile

BertieBotts Fri 09-Jan-15 01:02:40

Just going to throw out ideas regardless of cost, of course adjust to your budget.

Older boys' clothes apparently are in short supply, although not all refuges take boys over 12. If it does take boys over 12, male toiletries might be received well.

San pro, that must be really humiliating to ask for or try to improvise, it can be expensive too.

Nice toiletries? Kettle sounds good. Blankets? Thinking something comforting, safe, relaxing/distracting, something which feels like "mine". Colouring stuff for children - complete sets of pens/crayons rather than having to share. Perhaps a nice notebook/journal. Books as long as they aren't triggering or upsetting. Treaty foods. Portable CD/DVD player.

But then practical stuff is probably a priority too - baby equipment. Pushchairs, slings, sleeping bags, bottles, warmers, mobile/playmat etc for something nice. Weather proof clothing, especially for children - wellies, raincoats, warm coats, gloves, scarves, hats, fleeces, vests. Good quality shoes, some of that waterproofing spray for shoes. Nice fluffy/warm towels, hooded towels for babies. Children's toothpaste.

Something to keep children busy for longer periods - open ended toys, paper and pens, packs of cards for older ones, some of those books with rainy day activities or things to do on a car journey/plane (good for games you can do in a small space with few props). Story CDs for different ages or song CDs for little ones. Cheap earphones. Sport stuff if the refuge has a garden - a ball, a frisbee (perhaps more summery). Book on how to make paper aeroplanes or other things which don't require hundreds of things from a craft shop but just stuff which is extremely everyday. Guinness book of records (keeps you going for ages).

Top up cards for different phone networks, if they don't expire. Gift cards for grocery shops or Boots or Superdrug, then they can buy their own toiletries and medicines. Lemsip if you're allowed to put medication in.

Comics/magazines. Branded cereal, with a free toy.

LuisSuarezTeeth Fri 09-Jan-15 09:54:24

Thank you all for this. I've had a great response from family and friends and have a bootload already.

My friend says that anything is gratefully received as they never know obviously what they will need. She does a "drive" for emergency items for specific families via her refuge contacts I think.

It's heartening to see the response around me as I think many people don't give refuges much thought. It's only through my own past experiences and MN that I am aware really.

gingermopped Sat 10-Jan-15 10:13:40

my children and I stayed in a refuge for a while, things that were lacking was older childrens clothing.
also toothbryshes/toiletries/hair brushes.

LuisSuarezTeeth Sat 10-Jan-15 10:32:52

Thank you Ginger

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