The work that Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service (formerly known as Carmarthen Women’s Aid) performs is life changing. They undertake the care of women and their children who have been mentally, physically and financially and sexually abused by husbands and partners, or other family members. The people they help could be from anywhere in the UK and they can arrive at the Refuge with nothing. At a later stage they are re housed into community homes.

Verona was involved in furnishing the new Refuge in Carmarthenshire 4 years ago and has been donating furniture to re housed families ever since. The staff at Carmarthen Domestic Abuse Service wanted to us to see the impact these gifts of furniture have on the people they support.

Kim and Sophie were chosen to make the visit on our behalf. Staff gave them a tour of the premises so they could see the bedroom furniture in place for themselves. They listened to the range of work carried out and had the opportunity to meet some of the recipients and their children.Sophie said “I was really surprised by the extent the home was organised to provide privacy and security for everyone. Each family has their own bedroom with en suite facilities and a kitchenette area. There were also communal areas which included a garden and a playroom for the children.”

Kim’s perception of the help offered to women in these tragic circumstances changed when she listened to the problems encountered by some of the women the charity helps.  Staff told her ”We do receive funding for our work from the local authority and also charitable donations.  Most service users claim benefits including housing benefit to pay rent at the refuge.  There is a particular difficulty for women who own property or who are working, in being able to afford to come into refuge.  When women and families arrive with nothing they do need all the help they can get, and equally moving on to own home is a time of great need, which is where Verona come in.  Recent benefits changes mean that there is now less money available to women arriving and also moving out, which is why we work closely with food bank and are also so grateful for the help form Verona design.” “It is amazing that despite their tragic circumstance that they are so grateful” said Kim.

Sophie went on to say “It gave us a great sense of pride to think that our Captain, Bunk and Single Beds are helping in such a good cause” Simon Fenemore, Managing Director added “Although Verona no longer manufactures tables and chairs we have managed over time to also acquire these for the Refuge as well.”