KidsOut and the Home Office Provide Essential Food Vouchers to Victims of Domestic Abuse

The Home Office has funded KidsOut’s initiative to support victims of domestic abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic. A grant of £130,000 has enabled KidsOut to deliver £25 supermarket vouchers to families living in refuge between July and October 2020.

KidsOut is the only national charity working with every Women’s Aid Federation refuge in the UK to support children who have experienced domestic violence. With the Home Office’s backing, the charity is extending its supermarket voucher initiative for families in refuge lacking other means of support. Over July and August, KidsOut delivered two rounds of £25 supermarket vouchers to roughly 1,300 families in refuge. This will be repeated over September and October 2020, with up to 5,200 vouchers being delivered in total.

The families receiving support through this initiative are those KidsOut has identified as being in the greatest need. Even when families do have access to avenues of support, they may be unable to leave the refuge and receive it for fear of being found by their abuser. In collaboration with the Home Office, KidsOut is providing direct support that families can easily access from within the refuge.

“This phenomenal contribution from the Home Office will radically transform the experience of mothers and children as they enter refuge,” says KidsOut CEO, Gordon Moulds CBE DL. “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. Families 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 July to October supermarket voucher initiative follows similar projects carried out by KidsOut at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. With the support of funders like the Direct Line Group, the National Lottery Community Fund in Scotland, and the London Community Response Fund, KidsOut was able to provide 8,901 supermarket vouchers  to families self-isolating in women’s refuges between April and June 2020. This was the first time the charity had provided supermarket vouchers to families in refuge, with the project receiving a tremendous response. The following outcomes were reported:

  • Relief of poverty – 94% of respondents said that the financial pressure of purchasing a weekly food shop for their family had been relieved
  • Improved physical health – 91% of respondents said their families were eating healthier
  • Reduced levels stress in the family unit – 91% of respondents said they felt less worried/stressed about buying food for their family

“I was struggling financially to buy essential groceries, but the weight has now been lifted off my shoulders. When I received the voucher, it helped me to feed my kids without worrying. Thank you so much.” – A mother receiving a supermarket voucher from KidsOut in April 2020.

Like many in the voluntary sector, KidsOut’s financial security has been threatened by the coronavirus, with the charity losing upwards of £800,000 from cancelled fundraising events. It is thanks to the Home Office that KidsOut has been able to continue its essential aid for children in refuge, ensuring that mental and physical health is protected.