Thoughtful Tamworth volunteers will reach a milestone this weekend as they pack their 500th ‘Buddy Bag’ for children affected by domestic violence.
A team of 20 people will be gathering at St Peter’s Church Hall in Glascote Heath on Saturday to pack more rucksacks with spare clothes, a toy and a book for children who may have had to flee their homes in the middle of the night.
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.
The bags are to be distributed at six women’s refuge centres in the West Midlands, meaning that Tamworth children will be among those who benefit from the scheme.
Karen is now urging other Tamworth residents to get involved in the project, either by donating items or money, or volunteering to help pack the bags. She is also hoping Tamworth companies will offer their support and help.
She said: “We have enough volunteers for this weekend, but we do need more, so I would be grateful if anyone in Tamworth could get in touch if they can help.
“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.
“We also put a postcard in for the child and carer to fill in and return if they would like to – we’ve had lots of responses from the children, which is lovely.”
The bags are tailored to suit boys or girls from babies up to 16-year-olds.
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.