Huge £1m appeal for domestic abuse refuge

From left, Phil Shulman, Derek Shulman, Tony Ransley, Kerry Minnear, Ray Shulman at the induction of Gentle Giant into the Guildhall's Wall of Fame

Gentle Giant prove they’re still a huge draw as they’re inducted in to the Guildhall’s Wall of Fame

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A MAJOR £1m campaign has been launched to fund a new domestic abuse refuge.

Southern Domestic Abuse Service (SDAS) aims to raise this amount to buy and then staff a refuge in south-east Hampshire. The safe house is where victims of domestic abuse can stay, with their children, until they are confident and safe enough to move on.

Mayor of Havant Cllr Fiona Ponsonby  with Southern Domestic Abuse Service chief executive Claire Lambon

Picture: Shannon Johnson

Mayor of Havant Cllr Fiona Ponsonby with Southern Domestic Abuse Service chief executive Claire Lambon Picture: Shannon Johnson

Yesterday, the charity launched its fundraising drive at its Southmoor offices in Havant. Guests included the charity’s chair of trustees, the Mayor of Havant and presidents from Havant and Cosham Rotary Club and Inner Wheel clubs.

Havant Mayor Faith Ponsonby said: ‘Providing a new refuge means that the users can start a new and safer life which is really important.’

A central part of the campaign is their Buy a Brick appeal whereby supporters can buy virtual bricks that will appear on an online wall on their website. Bronze, silver and gold coloured bricks can be purchased for donations of £25, £100, or £1,000 respectively.

SDAS chief executive Claire Lambon said: ‘We are asking for donations to “buy a brick” that will not only help us build a home for victims of domestic abuse but will also help us to rebuild their lives.

‘When a refuge can make a difference between life and death, we don’t want to have to turn anyone away.

‘Every brick will bring us closer to our target. We have always enjoyed a wonderful level of community support and we hope the public will get behind us in providing this essential service.’

Celebrities and dignitaries are also getting involved with the appeal by autographing toy building bricks which will then be built into a model refuge.

British sailor Tracey Edwards MBE was the first to support the appeal.

She said: ‘I am delighted to support such a worthwhile cause, one that I am genuinely passionate about.’

Donate at southerndas.org or by emailing donations@southerndas.org