Sligo Volunteer Centre has teamed up with DVAS (Domestic Violence Advocacy Service) in Sligo to roll out CRiTiCALL – a local response to support people emerging from domestic violence circumstances compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Whilst staying home or working from home, is for many,  just an inconvenience, for others it is incredibly challenging and even treacherous.  It is unimaginable for most people what it must be like facing prolonged confinement with someone who  is  abusive. We want to ensure that when people are ready to make the courageous step to leave an abusive situation that we have every resource to hand to support them in their recovery and  pathway to a new, safe life. The aim of CRiTiCALL in Sligo is to support women and children in the area by facilitating the donation of critical goods to those that need it most.

DVAS is a specialist Domestic Violence support, information and advocacy service for women. Carmel McNamee, Manager of DVAS in Sligo explains ‘Part of our service provision are three apartments. We offer temporary secure comfortable short-term accommodation to women and children fleeing their experience of domestic violence and coercive control. We have a one bedroom, a 2-bedroom and a three-bedroom apartment where women can live with their children temporarily while they secure more suitable longer term accommodation’.

With CRiTiCALL we want you to picture a woman arriving into her temporary living space, getting the key to this new space, shutting the door behind her and looking around at a well furnished, comfortable living space. It is our intention to create a welcoming (although temporary) home with new fresh bed linen, kitchenware, toiletries, perhaps some toys or board games for children, lovely towels and soaps in the bathroom. This lady may have had a traumatic disruptive journey and upon arrival we would like that she and her children experience comfort and calm, peace and warmth.

With support from generous donors a woman arriving into a DVAS safe house can feel that the things around her are hers to bring with her when she secures more long term accommodation; knowing that generous people have considered her situation and her needs and have donated household items with the intention of contributing towards creating a safe home space for her family is reassuring for her.

The first donation day will be on Thursday 26th November. Mindful of the Level 5 restrictions still in place, we have strict guidelines in place around donations. This project will make a huge difference to the lives of women and children in need.  All prospective donors must register with the service to get the list of items needed and details of drop off. Only new items can be accepted due to the COVID situation.

Register here: https://www.i-vol.ie/volunteer-opportunity/?ID=a004G00000lmXsP