Over 900 ‘Buddy Bags’ donated to children fleeing domestic abuse across London

Last year, as one of the largest providers of domestic abuse support in London, Hestia supported almost 2,000 adults and children to recover from domestic abuse in refuges and through community support.

Often, mums and children fleeing domestic abuse arrive at a refuge with just the clothes on their backs. Charity Buddy Bag Foundation, which was set up in 2014, strives to put this right.

This summer, Hestia has received over 900 ‘Buddy Bags’, donated by the Buddy Bag Foundation for children fleeing domestic abuse.

The bags, which are backpacks and each cost £25 to produce, are packed full with essentials for children entering refuges, including toiletries, pyjamas, socks and underwear. Comfort items such as books, teddies and photo frames are also included.

They also contain ‘Affirmation Cards’ for mums, letting them know how amazing they are, and postcards for children to send back to the foundation with comments on what the bag means to them.

The ‘Buddy Bags’ provide children with not only essential items, but a sense of security in what is often a traumatic and turbulent time.

The Buddy Bag Foundation describe the bags as ‘something to call their own’, and work to show children that there is a ‘loving and caring world reaching out to them’, making the process of moving away from home and into emergency support a little easier.

The charity, which relies solely on volunteers and puts every penny donated back into providing more bags, aimed to donate by 20,200 bags by 2020, a target that has already been smashed.

Karen Williams, founder of the Buddy Bag Foundation, said:

“I am immensely proud of all we’ve achieved to date and can’t thank our Buddy Bag Foundation team enough for helping make every single bag pack possible. The fact that we’re exceeding the targets we set ourselves is a real cause for celebration, because it means we’re impacting more children’s lives by delivering more of our bags filled with love.”

Pauline Powell, Project Manager at Hestia’s Croydon Domestic Abuse service, said:

“The ‘Buddy Bags’ have given children arriving in our refuge something for themselves. Families often leave home without anything at all, and the bags are something they can keep and take with them when they move on. They’re colourful, age appropriate and filled with puzzles and pencils, which is great for children having to start at a new school. They’ve made a real difference to the children in our service.”

You can learn more about the Buddy Bag Foundation on their website, or follow them on Twitter.

Learn more about Hestia's domestic abuse services

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