MORE than £2000 has been raised to help women living in a refuge because of domestic abuse, thanks to the generosity of Evening News readers.
Our three-week Christmas appeal to raise funds and awareness of the invaluable service offered by Edinburgh Women’s Aid spurred readers to donate money – and also ensured 25 youngsters got an outing to the pantomime after two theatres gave tickets to ensure the children of women in the refuge got a Christmas night out to remember.
A hairdressing business also offered free haircuts for any woman using the services of EWA while the money raised will go towards taking children on holiday later this year, as well as paying for essentials for the refuge flats where women and their families stay when they have fled their homes.
Michele Corcoran, manager of EWA, said: “In total we received £2081 and we really appreciate the generosity of the Edinburgh Evening News readers, they’ve helped to make a difference to people’s lives.
“Some of the anonymous cash donations we were sent had notes with them such as ‘been there and would like to help someone else’ and words of encouragement too, like ‘it will get better’, so the appeal really touched people.”
She added: “Thanks to the donations and the theatre tickets we received 25 children and their mums got an unexpected outing to the panto, which helped get them into the Christmas spirit in their new situations.
“And some of the money has been used to book a holiday for eight children later this year near Fort William which will give them a wonderful experience in a place where they can have fun and, for a short time, escape from the difficulties that they have experienced in their young lives.”
One of the biggest donations came from Gillian Robertson of Looking Glass Books in the Quartermile.
The independent bookshop had raised the cash by wrapping books and other gifts in return for a small donation after reading about the charity drive. Even though the store’s fundraising was hit by the theft of £200, Gillian still managed to hand over £750 to EWA.
“I’m really pleased to hear how much they’ve raised,” she said. “I read the stories about their work in the Evening News, particularly how they hoped to take the children to the panto and to me that just seemed so achievable. This felt like we could help make a difference locally.
“Even when the money was stolen, people responded so well. I had one guy who wanted to replace the whole £200 but I told him to donate via the Just Giving page as there’s gift aid available so he did that. Even then, we made up the missing money quickly. People were amazing.
“And I’m just so glad the children got to the panto and that they’ll also get a holiday.”
Ms Corcoran said that the money will also be used for outings at Easter and summer “which gives kids a good time while giving mums a break.
“The Evening News readers were so generous we have also been able to put money aside for the essential basics such as bedding and other necessities for our accommodation.
“Every donation has helped to make a difference to someone’s life – on behalf of all the women and children who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in need of our services, a huge thank you to the readers for their generosity.”
• If you would like to donate to EWA visit www.justgiving.com.