BIG-HEARTED Tamworth residents joined in with a project aimed at helping children affected by domestic violence.
The ‘Buddy Bag Brigade’ met up at St Peter’s Community Hall in Glascote Heath where they packed 180 children’s rucksacks to be distributed at six women’s refuge centres in the West Midlands.
The Buddy Bag scheme is the brainchild of Karen Williams who set up the ‘Live, Love, Laugh Foundation’ to help children whose lives are damaged by domestic violence.
She hopes to distribute 20,000 of the bags by 2020.
She said: “A Buddy Bag includes all the essential items a child needs if they have to suddenly leave home. They include toiletries, pyjamas, socks, underwear, a book, a photo frame and a teddy bear.
“The project has been really well-supported by businesses in Tamworth as well as volunteers who helped pack the bags. I am still looking for local companies to make donations or to sponsor the Buddy Bags scheme.”
The bags are tailored to suit boys or girls from babies up to 16-year-olds.
Kathy Coe of the Lichfield and Tamworth Pathways Project, told those taking part: “You have made an amazing start and I am sure that all of the partners you have found within other services will be just as grateful for your help as we are. Children often lose so much when they have to move, often very suddenly.
They don’t have time to say goodbye to friends, to come to terms with moving and to take their favourite things. Your Buddy Bags will be a great help in getting them settled and overcoming the trauma. Thank you to everyone involved.”
Children fleeing violent situations often have to leave home quickly, without the chance to collect basic items, so arrive in emergency accommodation with just the clothes they are wearing.
According to NSPCC figures, there are over 68,000 children in care in England and almost 400,000 children received support from children’s services in 2014.