KidsOut and Direct Line Group Provide Essential Coronavirus Relief to Domestic Abuse Victims

KidsOut is delighted to announce the launch of a new partnership with the Direct Line Group to support the physical and mental welfare of some society’s most vulnerable children during the coronavirus pandemic. The two organisations are coordinating the delivery of £50 worth of food vouchers and over £100 worth of new toys to every family currently living in a Women’s Aid Federation (WAFE) refuge in the UK.

While KidsOut supports children from a range of backgrounds, it is the only national charity focusing on the needs of children in refuge and works with every WAFE refuge in the UK. With the generous backing of the Direct Line Group, the charity is using its “KidsIn” initiative to provide essential support for these children while they are stuck indoors during lockdown measures. Over the 14th, 15th, and 16th April, KidsOut has sent a £25 food voucher to the 3,500 families currently living in a WAFE refuge. The following week, commencing 20th April, KidsOut will be providing a brand-new box of toys and activities worth over £100 to over 5,000 children in these refuges. The week commencing 27th April will see KidsOut deliver another £25 food voucher to families.

Like many in the voluntary sector, KidsOut’s financial security has been threatened by the coronavirus, with the charity losing upwards of £400,000 from cancelled fundraising events. It is thanks to the Direct Line Group that KidsOut has been able to launch this package of essential aid for children in refuge. “It is no understatement to say that the phenomenal support from the Direct Line Group has not only saved the charity from economic uncertainty, it has also ensured the fun and happiness of thousands of the UK’s most vulnerable children,” says KidsOut CEO, Gordon Moulds CBE DL. “Children fleeing from domestic violence to a women’s refuge can often be forgotten, and it is KidsOut’s job to guarantee that their needs do not go overlooked at this time of extreme difficulty.”

The KidsIn initiative will have a transformative impact on the children and families self-isolating in refuge. Mothers arrive with their children at the doors of a women’s refuge with very little money. The vouchers for their local supermarket will enable mothers to purchase essential goods and groceries, alleviating some of the financial pressures that have been exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak. Similarly, the toy boxes will drastically affect the way children in refuge are experiencing the pandemic. Social distancing measures have compounded the extreme isolation many of these children already face, with most living through this crisis restricted to a single room with their mother and siblings. Almost all the children will have left every possession behind when fleeing from their abuser, being housed in a refuge with only the clothes on their backs. The toys delivered by KidsOut will provide comfort, with each toy box being designed to promote social and educational development along with family bonding. Toys and activities such as board games, arts & craft kits, puzzles, and books will keep children occupied, entertained, and engaged while staying indoors. These new possessions will help children cope with the trauma they have faced before coming to refuge and go a long way to preserving their long-term mental health. It is hoped that the children will be able to look back at these challenging times and remember the fun and happiness they experienced playing games and activities with their mother and siblings.

“We’re proud to be part of this fantastic initiative,” says Penny James, Chief Executive of Direct Line Group. “The work that KidsOut are doing to help mothers living in refuge and put a smile on their children’s faces is priceless, especially at this challenging time.”

While the UK is facing an unprecedented health crisis, there is also an increasing crisis in the stark rise of domestic violence as a result of the pandemic. Many refuges around the UK are completely full, with families not being able to move on due to the lockdown measures. In the coming weeks and months more mothers and children will require the sanctuary of a women’s refuge. KidsOut will be there to support these children, helping them to enjoy fun and happiness in their lives.

However, the charity needs additional funds to make up for the loss of events and to ensure its long-term survival. As soon as the social distancing restrictions are lifted, KidsOut needs to be in the strongest position possible so it can get back to taking children on Fun Days out to theatres, cinemas, and other exciting activities beneficial to the protection and preservation of a child’s welfare. Please consider donating to support KidsOut’s vital work at the following link: https://kidsoutuk.charitycheckout.co.uk/donate/

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