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Since we launched in October last year, we had started to amass quite a few sample and ‘test’ products at Look & Cover HQ that we were unable to sell. We sat down as a team and decided instead of throwing them away or giving them to friends and family we should donate the pjs and loungewear to a local cause in Cumbria.

After doing our research we decided to approach Springfield Women’s Refuge. When we contacted the team they were delighted that we’d thought of them and explained to us that they were always on the lookout for clothing and living essentials to provide to the women that come to them.

The team also told us more about the amazing work they do in Cumbria. Springfield is an independent charity that has been providing a safe haven for vulnerable women for over 100 years. Springfield aim to give women affected by domestic abuse the skills and confidence they need to develop positive coping strategies. The charity runs two services for people in South Lakeland, The Community Hub in Kendal and a Women’s Refuge. They are the only dedicated domestic abuse refuge in Cumbria.

The team is small but highly skilled and dedicated and provide tailored support for every woman. There is also an amazing group of volunteers who run group workshops, assist with garden and help teach the women to cook healthy meals on a budget.

A high number of the women that stay with at the refuge have very complex support needs including current/historic drug and / or alcohol dependency, complex mental health needs, financial problems and sometimes historic childhood abuse and sexual exploitation. Springfield have a brilliant support team in place that provide intensive emotional and practical support to the women in these positions with the aim to empower the women from the refuge to retake control of their lives, living independently and abuse-free.

Springfield also offer a grassroots community service in South Lakes providing tailored support to women (and a small number of men) who have experienced, or are still experiencing, domestic abuse. Between April 2017 and the end of March 2018 Springfield have provided support to 108 women and 3 men through this service.

We had a lovely email from the team at Springfield thanking us for the clothes and said they’d had quite a few women join the refuge recently, arriving with very few possessions which really made us realise how vital the team at Springfield is to Cumbria.

With that in mind the team have committed to continuing our relationship with Springfield and are going to be sending any samples or products that we no longer need to the refuge to help women in the area. If you have any unwanted clothes that are still in good condition, we urge you to send them either to Springfield or to a women’s refuge local to you. Many of us forget that female victims of domestic abuse can be suffering anywhere - next door, down your road or in your town. Places like Springfield help to rebuild these women’s lives and give them the support they need to go out into the world as confident, strong people.

If you, a friend or family member are/has been a victim/survivor of domestic abuse and you would like to talk to someone or you would just like to find out more about Springfield’s services please call 01539 726131 or email cs@springfieldsupport.org