During the first lockdown due to COVID-19, I was unable to do my usual fundraising event ‘Sleep Easy’ with the YMCA. As part of this, I would usually spend the evening sleeping outside with my 13-year-old daughter to raise money. Due to the current government guidelines, this was out of the question for 2020.

After considering what fundraising I could do in the current circumstances, I decided to fundraise for a charity Refuge to help raise awareness on domestic violence.

I managed to raise £220 for Refuge by walking 2 miles a day throughout the whole of August — totalling 62 miles in all. As we were in lockdown at the time, my daughter and I used our 1-hour exercise window to walk around our village, enjoying the country views whilst walking.

Refuge opened the world’s first refuge in Chiswick, West London in 1971. It is now the country’s largest single provider of specialist accommodation and support to women and children escaping domestic violence and other forms of violence and abuse. On any given day Refuge supports more than 6,000 women, children and men.

Refuge provides emergency accommodation through a national network of refuges, alongside many other specialist services, including the freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247. Refuge also offers community-based outreach services, culturally specific services and a team of independent domestic violence advocates (IDVAs), which supports women at the highest risk of serious injury or homicide. They also run award-winning media and advertising campaigns to raise public awareness of the issue and campaigns and lobbies for better provision for women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Rebecca McNaught — Cases Manager

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