Educational Experience has donated toys and learning resources to help provide a safe haven for children to heal and build emotional resilience after exposure to domestic violence.

Two Hunter region women and children’s refuges received items remaining from the sale of $30,000 worth of furniture, toys and educational resources.

Warlga Ngurra women and children’s refuge and Carrie’s Place provide crisis accommodation and support for women and children escaping domestic violence or experiencing homelessness.

These purpose-built refuges have difficulty re-stocking resources for the children’s playroom/child support room, due to the high volume of children moving in and out of the shelters. The donation of items, such as art and craft products, jigsaw puzzles, dress-up costumes and activity books, will mean not having to purchase these resources out of essential funding needed for accommodation and support programs.

Carrie’s Place Accommodation and Support Program Case Worker Lindsay Singer said the child support room is a safe place for children to escape where they are encouraged and supported to build their inner strength after the violence they have been exposed to.

“It is a space for kids where they do not have to worry about adult problems,” she said.

Ms Singer said while the room is filled with modern technologies, like the playstation, these resources enable children to get back-to-basics, get on the floor and play with things like blocks.

Warlga Ngurra Child Support Worker Temeka Beetson said the resources helped provide children with things to do and gave mum a break, particularly with the school holidays approaching. She said learning resources helped to bridge the gap in education.

“Their education is disrupted,” she said.

“For some mums it is their first time in a refuge, others are coming to us from another refuge, which means transferring schools if they are out of the area.”

“When children have had to move and switch schools resources are important to fill the gaps in their education,” Ms Singer added.

Both refuges have been operating in the Hunter region for over 30 years. Both are consistently full due to the constant demand for crisis accommodation. Warlga Ngurra can accommodate five mums and 14 children for up to 12 weeks. Five women and 10 children can reside at Carrie’s Place for up to 8 weeks, depending on circumstances.

Photo:Carrie’s Place Co-ordinator of the Staying Home Leaving Violence Program Stacey Gately and Accommodation and Support Program Case Worker Lindsay Singer collecting educational resources for the child support room.