£3.7k for playtime

This Is Wiltshire: Jackie Pennington of Swindon Women’s Aid. The group has been given a Gannett grant of £3,700 Buy this photo » Jackie Pennington of Swindon Women’s Aid. The group has been given a Gannett grant of £3,700

SWINDON Women’s Aid has been given a £3,700 grant from the Gannett Foundation to help build outdoor play equipment in the refuge garden.

It plans to install a decked area beside the play room, raised flower beds and seating. The hope is the new outdoor area will encourage residents to play with their children and interact with others.

In its application to the Gannett Foundation, set up by the owner of the Swindon Advertiser, Jackie Pennington, accommodation manager at Swindon Women’s Aid, said: “Many children and young people who come to the refuge with their mothers have led restricted lives within their family environment.

“Through fear of angering the perpetrator they are often unable to invite friends round to play or go to their friends’ houses. They may not be allowed to make a mess or even any noise when playing.

“Coming to the refuge gives them permission to be children again, to express themselves, to learn about sharing and learn ways of conflict resolution that does not involve violence.

“Although this project does not directly benefit the community as a whole it will benefit those who require refuge for years to come.”

It is hoped that the outdoor area will be completed by the spring.

Swindon Women’s Aid provides an integrated service for victims of domestic violence and abuse and offers support services including outreach, a 24-hour helpline, emergency refuge accommodation and a service for children and young people.

The Gannett Foundation is the charitable arm of the Gannett Corporation which owns the Newsquest media group which publishes regional newspapers like the Adver. The foundation provides grants to support projects in areas where Newsquest operates, and in the past 10 years has made grants of more than £4m.

n Call the 24-hour Women’s Aid helpline on 01793 610610.

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