COMFORT AND JOY: Donate and give control back to victims of abuse

SDAS business support & development manager Jo Eamey, CEO Claire Lambon and independent domestic violence advisor Vikki Cooper
SDAS business support & development manager Jo Eamey, CEO Claire Lambon and independent domestic violence advisor Vikki Cooper
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ONE of the 11 good causes set to benefit from our Comfort and Joy Christmas campaign is the Southern Domestic Abuse Service.

With its local base in Havant, the regional charity provides a host of support services for people who are experiencing or have previously faced physical, emotional or sexual abuse in their relationships.

The Southern Domestic Abuse Service (SDAS) has benefitted from the Comfort and Joy campaign for the past 10 years.

Jo Eamey, 41, is the organisation’s business support and development manager.

She said: ‘Our service users have a wide range of individual needs and they often arrive with nothing. It’s as if many are forced to start life again.

‘Through the vouchers generously donated by the public, we try and make Christmas a special time for the people we support.

‘This Christmas could be the first for many of them that has been free of abuse. The gift of a £5 supermarket voucher through the campaign puts the power back in their hands – it allows them to buy something special just for them.’

The initiative’s vast provision includes a community outreach service, a project raising awareness of female genital mutilation and a shared refuge centre for 24 women and 57 children.

One SDAS case study, says service manager Sue Harrower, proved to be a perfect example of how a small £5 donation can make a real difference.

She said: ‘A mother of three children aged three, five and 10 received vouchers when her benefits were stopped. She didn’t have any income for a number of months and life was incredibly difficult as she tried to provide food for her children.

‘She had always worked, but had to claim benefits when her relationship broke down due to domestic abuse. She was reliant on food bank donations and the vouchers we were able to offer.

‘The vouchers enabled her to buy food and nappies that she needed for her children and they gave her options and choices when she felt limited and controlled.’

To learn more about how a £5 Comfort and Joy donation could change a life, read case studies at portsmouth.co.uk.