Last week, one of our contractors, R Benson, showed just why they won Social Value Contractor of the Year Award at The Barnet Group’s recent Customer Awards evening on Thursday 12th December. By the following Monday, R Benson had generously delivered a whole sackful of Christmas presents for the women and children living at the Domestic Violence Refuge.

The donation of gifts came at the right time as the families living in the refuge were preparing for the annual Christmas dinner at the refuge – put on by refuge staff and partner organisations.

One of our partners, Solace Womens Aid Manager Louise Acunzo, said that since many of the families had left home with little or no belongings, being able to celebrate Christmas with a shared meal and some presents gives them a real sense of normality, which helps them start to re-build their lives.

Refuge Manager Louise Acunzo continues: “No matter what’s happened at home, it’s not easy to move away from your family. In some cases, women are unable to work, which means being able to buy gifts for the children at this time of year is not possible. So we are really grateful to R Benson for being so generous and donating the families presents for Christmas.”

R Benson’s Managing Director Russell Neal, Director said: “R. Benson have worked with the Minerva House team since the refuge opened and were delighted to be able to provide some gifts for the children who will be staying there over this festive season.”

Last year R Benson carried out some much-needed repairs and even fitted a new kitchen in the property.

The communal lounge and office in the refuge had floors that were urgent need of repair, but the cost of replacing the floor was not originally included in the funding for the refuge, which it received in March 2017.

Barnet Homes is currently putting in a bid to the Ministries of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) for funding to keep the Domestic Violence Refuge and One Stop Stop open for another year.

We are extremely appreciative of the generous donation these vital contributions from R Benson as all these factors play a part in transforming the lives of its residents.