I have worked in services for children and families for nearly 30 years and from both my experience in Ealing (15 years), and previously in a small rural community in Scotland, domestic abuse and the impact this has on victims and survivors of abuse – children, families, and women particularly (though not always women) has made a deep impression on me .

I have tried within my work to prioritise effort to support those affected, to raise awareness of what domestic abuse is, why it happens and what we need to do as individuals, communities, services and society to at least reduce its occurrence.

In the meantime we need services, including voluntary services to provide support and an opportunity to create a better future, for those affected.

Getting to a Refuge may seem like the end of a difficult journey , but it is a whole new beginning, starting from a great deal of loss, and often with very little belongings, women and children need to rebuild their lives.

To help Refuges to do this in the best way possible we need to support them to remain sustainable and effective, so they can create a safe place. This will ensure a positive and empowering experience for children and adults affected by domestic abuse and to counteract their recent disempowering experiences.

Should you be considering a retirement gift for me, I would prefer that you would donate to Hestia on my behalf.

With my thanks and best wishes always!

Clare Welsby
Ealing - Children's Centres Strategic Manager

Sally Osmond