On Friday 7th June, Jo Churchill MP will unveil the brand-new teenage room at Bury St Edmunds’ Women’s Aid Outreach Centre. The room is designed specifically to offer a safe and welcoming space for teenagers affected by domestic violence and was funded, decorated and furnished by local company Infusions Group, the company behind the ICE Café on the Rougham Industrial Estate.
Bury St. Edmunds Women’s Aid was set up in 1974 to provide safety and support to women and children experiencing domestic abuse. The main refuge in Bury St Edmunds has 23 bed spaces offering temporary accommodation in a safe environment for women and their children recovering from the traumatic effects of domestic violence, but Bury St Edmunds Women’s Aid also offers a range of community services and counselling to support families rebuilding their lives after abuse and these are based at their outreach centre in the town centre, where this new teenage room has been created.
The staff at Infusions Group chose Bury St Edmunds Women’s Aid as their charity of the year for 2018, and they raised over £2400 during the course of the year, by donating tips from their ICE Lunch Bar, through raffles and staff charity quizzes and through a half marathon run by one of the company’s owners. During the course of the year, the company also donated Easter eggs, cooked Christmas lunch for staff and the ladies and children staying at the Refuge at that time, donated and hosted a team building day and arranged a Halloween party for children affected by domestic violence. On Friday, they will also hand over a cheque for the balance of the fundraising which will be used to buy more equipment for the room.
In December of 2018, the four directors of Infusions Group visited the Outreach Centre, decorated the room and built flatpack furniture, kitting out the room for young people to use. The new room includes an area for make-up and nails, a craft area, bean bags and Wi-Fi as well as a chalk wall. It is designed to be as accommodating as possible for teenagers in a supportive, safe and caring environment, away from younger siblings.
Heather Hunt, CEO of Bury St Edmunds Women’s Aid said: “We’re so grateful for this donation. It’s made such a difference so far and will only prove to be even more beneficial as time goes on for this particularly vulnerable group, giving them a bit of space and freedom whilst at the same time keeping them safe.”
John Jackaman, Managing Director of Infusions Group, says: “We loved working with the team at Bury St Edmunds Women’s Aid and were pleased to do our part. We approached Heather at the start of the year and asked for a specific project to fundraise for and creating this room in particular really captured our team’s imagination and they were all happy to contribute throughout the year and the support from our customers has also been amazing. To be able to provide a safe space for vulnerable teens when they need it most is a fantastic cause”.