Starter packs are a step to a new life

Church congregations joined together recently to help vulnerable women take their first steps to a better, more positive future.

Independent voluntary organisation East Dunbartonshire Women’s Aid (EDWA) offers refuge accommodation for women and children who have suffered domestic abuse.

They also support them in the move from the short term refuge to more permanent homes.

But often the women and children have had to flee without any of their possessions - leaving them with none of the essentials for starting over in a brand new home.

To help with the transition, EDWA offers a ‘Starter Pack’ programme - giving women a selection of items to set up home with,

Churches across East Dunbartonshire supported the cause as part of Poverty and Homelessness Action Week, which took place from January 25-February 2.

A spokesperson for the project explained: “The starter pack project involves churches in East Dunbartonshire working with East Dunbartonshire Women’s Aid to help support women moving from refuge accommodation into more permanent homes, often with very little.

“We estimate that something between 40 and 50 women per year will be in this position.

“Over the two Sundays, which began and ended Poverty and Homelessness Action Week, members of many churches were invited to donate new items to make up starter packs ‑bedding, kitchen equipment, cleaning materials etc, so that the women moving into their new accommodation and their families have a real chance of a fresh start.

“Financial donations have also been welcomed.

“The project was initiated by Diane Beckett of Scottish Churches Housing Action.”

If you would like to help with the work of EDWA, or make a donation to the starter packs project, you can go to their website at

If you have been affected by domestic abuse and need somebody to talk to in confidence, call EDWA on 0141 776 0864.