Apr 4 2008 By
DESPERATE workers at Stirling Women’s Aid are feeling magic today thanks to a generous Observer reader and Harry Potter creator JK Rowling.
The Volant Charitable Trust, set up by Rowling, has awarded the charity £25,000 to help furnish its new local refuge, which is set to open shortly.
But the workers were particularly overwhelmed by a cheque for £5000 from a Good Samaritan.
Stirling Women’s Aid spokesperson Anne Shaw said: “The person who sent the cheque wants to remain anonymous, but they sent it as a direct result of reading in the Observer about our appeal for help with furnishing the refuge.
“To say we are a wee bit excited is an under-statement. We are so grateful.
“The person did contact us to say they would be sending a substantial cheque but did not say how much it was for.
“We just couldn’t believe it when we received it.
“To also get the news about the Volant Trust grant was fantastic.”
The Volant Trust was set up by JK Rowling to support charitable causes and projects, nationally or community-based, at home or abroad, which alleviate social deprivation, with a particular emphasis on women’s and children’s issues.
A few weeks ago Stirling Women’s Aid issued a plea for help through the Observer, explaining how they were struggling to furnish the new refuge on their own.
While funding for the bricks and mortar had been secured for some time, an additional estimated £44,000 was needed in cash or new goods to kit out the seven flats and a communal area at the purpose-built complex.
Stirling councillor Ian Brown also came on board and wrote to retailers in the Springkerse area, prompting DIY superstore Homebase Stirling to also step in, offering to donate some goods from the store.
Homebase’s Angela Fullerton said: “It is an excellent cause and we hope to be able to provide some sort of ongoing support.”
Councillor Brown said: “The new refuge will make a huge difference to women and children so I felt it was worth asking local businesses if they were able to help in any way.
“I was also in touch with Ikea and they are going to donate two beds for the refuge, and a Stirling local has generously offered to provide storage space for as many items as possible until they are ready for use.”
Anne Shaw added: “We are grateful to everyone who has been willing to help us.
“Things really were at a desperate stage. We still have to find around £10,000 to £15,000 of cash or goods but what has been achieved already has given us such a boost.
“We would also like to thank all those people who have contacted us with goods or donations, or simply asking how they could help.
“Even if for various reasons in some cases we weren’t able to accept particular items, all the offers have been greatly appreciated.”
Anyone who wants to help can e-mail Stirling Women’s Aid on womensaid.dsl.pipex.com, telephone 01786 470897 or contact Observer reporter Kaiya Marjoribanks on 01786 459417 or firstname.lastname@example.org.