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University Staff Hand Over Dozens of Toys for Children to Women's Refuges

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The University of Worcester has collected dozens of toys for children spending their Christmas in women’s refuges.

Staff, students and members of the public all donated to the annual campaign, which saw more than 150 games, toys and gifts handed over to West Mercia Women’s Aid.

The organisation will distribute them to the three refuges it runs in Worcestershire and Herefordshire, which provide a safe place of shelter for women and children who have experienced domestic abuse.

This collection, in its third year, is organised by members of the University’s National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse (NCSPVA).

Jo Midgley, Support Services Manager at West Mercia Women’s Aid, said: “We want to say thank you so much.

“If it wasn’t for donations, some of the children in the refuges wouldn’t have any toys at all because in the majority they have left everything behind.”

Professor Liz Gilchrist, Academic Head of Psychology, Criminology and the NCSPVA, said: “Christmas and the festive season is a high risk time of year for families in abusive situations.

“Over the holidays there will be more women and children exposed to domestic abuse than potentially throughout the year put together.

“This collection means that all the children in refuges in Worcestershire and Herefordshire will have presents to look forward to within an otherwise traumatic Christmas.

“Our work in partnership with local organisations brings it home what it might be like to be a child living in a family where there has been experience of domestic abuse and it motivates you to keep going.

“With that in mind, it was nice to be able to make a small difference where we can.”

Anyone who would like to donate to West Mercia Women’s Aid can log on to www.westmerciawomensaid.org.