Albany Women’s Centre donations drive to bring relief amid COVID-19 family violence surge

Headshot of Sarah Makse
Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Albany Soroptimists’ Janet McArtney and Albany Women’s Centre's Tracey Pountney.
Camera IconAlbany Soroptimists’ Janet McArtney and Albany Women’s Centre's Tracey Pountney. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Great Southern communities are digging deep to fill care kits for women and children escaping family and domestic violence.

The fourth annual Albany Women’s Centre Kare Kit donation drive is on until September 18, aiming to collect as many essential items as possible to support women and children seeking refuge.

More than 20 drop-off points have sprung up around the Great Southern ready to take in clothes, toiletries, gift vouchers and school supplies.

Led by Albany Soroptimists, this year’s drive comes at a critical time for the centre, which has been dealing with a surge in family violence since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.

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The centre provides vital assistance for women and children facing family and domestic violence including crisis accommodation, 24-hour on-call support, counselling, and support groups.

Anglicare WA Albany Women’s Centre manager Joanna Fictoor said the centre had continued to operate at capacity, despite COVID-19 restrictions easing in WA.

“The Albany Women’s Centre has seen a 50 per cent increase in demand since the coronavirus pandemic was declared as perpetrators increasingly sought to use the virus threat to isolate and threaten their partners,” she said.

Albany Soroptimists project co-ordinator Janet McArtney said donations big and small were welcome.

“Financial donations or vouchers for department stores and supermarkets are most practical as they can be used to buy school uniforms, general clothing and shoes to fit the family in need, or help to purchase furniture and whitegoods for women ready to move into permanent accommodation,” she said.

“We also need donations of boys’ and girls’ clothing in new condition and school items such as backpacks, lunch boxes, drink bottles and pencil cases filled with stationery.

“Full-sized toiletry items, such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash and deodorant are also welcome.”

For a full list of drop-off points or to donate directly to Anglicare WA visit the Albany Women’s Centre Kare Kits — Albany Soroptimists Facebook page.

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