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Wiltshire Police Conference Collects Handbags for Victims of Domestic Abuse

In a heartwarming act of charity and solidarity, delegates attending the Violence Against Women and Girls conference in Tidworth, Wiltshire, have collected approximately 50 handbags and hundreds of toiletries for victims of domestic abuse. The initiative, part of the Love Grace appeal, took place on Monday, 4th December, at a conference hosted by Wiltshire Police.

The Love Grace appeal, established in memory of Grace Millane who was tragically murdered in New Zealand in December 2018, aims to repurpose pre-loved handbags by filling them with essential everyday items for women and girls in need. The handbags, tagged with ‘Love Grace,’ honour the legacy of Grace, who had a fondness for handbags.

The collected handbags and toiletries have been donated by Wiltshire Police’s Connect Women’s Network to three partner charities: Swindon Domestic Support Service, the Nelson Trust, and Swindon Sisters Alliance. These charities work closely with women who have experienced domestic abuse, providing them with support and resources.

Detective Inspector Penny Andrews, Vice Chair of the Wiltshire Police Connect Leadership Team, commented on the initiative: “These handbags, full of everyday essentials, offer a glimmer of hope and comfort to women during challenging times in their lives. It’s a great way to give new life to unused bags and, more importantly, to support vulnerable women in our communities.”

Emma King, Founder and Managing Director at Swindon Sisters Alliance, expressed gratitude for the donations, noting the positive impact of Grace’s legacy on the women they support.

Jo Eamey, CEO at Swindon Women’s Aid, highlighted the practical and special significance of the handbags for women who often flee their homes with little or no possessions. She mentioned how these gifts were already being put to good use, with children in refuge selecting Christmas presents for their mothers.

Veronica Cooper, Partnerships and Development Manager at the Nelson Trust, thanked the contributors for their kind donations, emphasizing the difference these handbags will make in the lives of women at the Nelson Trust Women’s Centre.

The conference and the subsequent donations underscore the ongoing efforts to support victims of domestic abuse and to keep the memory of Grace Millane alive through acts of kindness.

For More Information:
To learn more about the Love Grace appeal and how to contribute, please visit their official website. Individuals interested in supporting domestic abuse victims can also reach out to partner charities for more information on how to get involved.

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