South Tyneside Adult Recovery Service (STARS) staff have embraced the festive season by undertaking a collection of gifts, toiletries, and sweets for the residents of a North Tyneside domestic abuse refuge.

Harbour is a North East based organisation with services right across the region.  Their mission is to support families and individuals who are affected by abuse from a partner, former partner, or family member.  They provide safe and secure refuges for individuals fleeing potentially life-threatening situations.

Claire Jay, Lead Practitioner of the HOPE team who arranged the collection said “It is really important to all of our staff to give back where we are able to and to acknowledge the outstanding work of agencies such as Harbour.  Their work is tireless and gruelling and undoubtedly will have been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.  To all of us, these individuals truly are stars in the lives of those they support.”

The Manager of the North Tyneside refuge Harbour said; “Thank you so much for your kind gifts, they will be greatly appreciated.”

Mel Scott, Area Manager of STARS said: “We value the partnerships we have with local organisations and it is a testament to the work Harbour undertakes which is directly reflected in the number of items donated by our staff and I am incredibly proud of the entire STARS team”.

During the COVID-19 pandemic Women’s Aid have reported that ‘67.4% of survivors who were currently experiencing domestic abuse felt it had gotten worse’ with ‘76.1% of those surveyed stating they were having to spend more time with their abuser’.[1]

STARS, much like many Humankind services deal with individuals who have experienced previously or are currently at risk of domestic abuse and have sought support from agencies such as Harbour to safeguard adults and children from further harm.  The Christmas collection was a small way of giving back and supporting Harbour with the hope that the adults and children within their care over the festive season know they are supported and to provide a glimmer of hope and happiness through a very difficult and traumatic time in their lives.

[1] *Source: The Impact of COVID-19 on Survivors: Findings from Women’s Aid’s Initial Survivor Survey; Published April 2020)