The 1st of July is special for many reasons. It’s the day Einstein introduced his theory of special relativity in 1905, the day Pamela Anderson was born and the day Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs premiered in 2009 but, most importantly, it’s the day we started A Bloody Good Cause back in 2015.
To celebrate our third birthday and the launch of our ninth campaign, we’ve teamed up with Trevi House, a residential rehabilitation centre in Plymouth which helps women work through issues such as addiction and mental illness.
As Trevi House does not receive any funding from the Government in respect of sanitary products, we are thrilled to be working with them to keep their stock cupboards bursting with sanitary towels and tampons! We will also be collecting donations of nappies on this occasion, as the residents of Trevi House are all mothers and children.
We spoke with Trevi House’s CEO, Hannah Shead, to tell us more about the work she does, the centre’s ethos and who your donations will be helping in future –
I have been [working] in the field of addiction since 2000, but have always had a heart for women’s issues. I joined Trevi in 2011 and it has been an absolute privilege to work alongside so many remarkable women and their children. Many of the children we support here would be in foster care were it not for Trevi House. We are not only changing the lives of mothers, but also their children. It is generational change, and so very important. As a feminist and a mother of three, I feel passionately that this society should be doing as much as possible to help the more vulnerable within our community. It seems so obvious to me… we should be supporting women to get well so that they can parent their children, we should be working to keep families together.
Trevi House is a drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation centre that works exclusively with mothers and their children. Operating for 25 years, we remain the only service of its kind in the UK. We take referrals from across the entire UK and can take up to 10 women and their children at any given time. Our vision is that children with mums who have a drug or alcohol addiction can be given the chance to remain in their care. This is both in the short term whilst mum undertakes her recovery from addiction, and in the long term as they begin a life together free from addiction and abuse.
In 2016 we were awarded funding from the Big Lottery Fund to set up an aftercare service locally. Via our Sunflower centre we are now supporting women in the city of Plymouth as they recovery from a variety of issues, such as addiction, domestic violence and mental health.
At Trevi we support around 20 women per year who are all in recovery from addiction and domestic violence. Via Sunflower we support around another 100 per year.
Whilst the focus of our work is around drug and alcohol addiction, the brutal reality is that the women we support are all too often survivors of both sexual and domestic violence. Many of them are in recovery from childhood trauma. We also support them with a range of other issues, which include support around education, return to employment, housing and rebuilding contact with other children who have previous been removed.
There is a stigma associated with many issues that only affect women, for example complications post child birth. Here at Trevi we try to celebrate all aspects of being a woman and to take pride in our uniqueness! Many men walk away from the responsibilities of fatherhood. Society accepts this. Yet if a woman is struggling to meet the demands of motherhood (perhaps due to mental health, previous childhood abuse, domestic violence or other external factors) she is condemned and judge by society as a failure and a bad mother.
We welcome anything that helps to raise awareness about our work. As the only service of its kind, it is really important that as many people as possible know about Trevi. If a woman and her child needs the type of support we provide, she might therefore have a better chance of getting it. We also welcome any opportunity to challenge stigma and prejudice. The women who come to Trevi are remarkable women who fight every day to be the best mothers that they can be. I welcome any opportunity to celebrate that.
Our current campaign runs until the middle of August 2018, after which we will be loading up our car and taking your donations down to Plymouth. You’ve shown us incredible support over the last three years and we would love it if you could help us with your donations once again this summer!
You can find all the ways to donate listed here. People generally find it easiest to donate through Freda (all products are eco-friendly and organic) or our Amazon wish list, as this avoids postage fees! However, if you would like to donate in person or via post (with your own selection of products), please get in touch and we will do our best to arrange this.
If you aren’t able to donate this time, we would still love it if you could spread the word about our campaign to your family and friends! 🙂
Thanks for reading,