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Help wanted...Gore and Clutha Women's Refuge office manager Talia Andrews (left), manager Sam Munroe and Mrs Munroe's dog Alice. The Women's Refuge is always looking for extra volunteers and donations from the community.PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

The Gore and Clutha Women’s Refuge is just over halfway through its financial year and has already almost met its targets for the period, centre manager Sam Munroe says.

The targets, or contract numbers, are the numbers of people the centre aims to help throughout the year, including the people in its safe house and various programmes.

The facility’s financial year ran from July 1 to June 30, leaving it with six months remaining, Mrs Munroe said.

The centre was partly funded by the Ministry of Social Development and fundraised and applied for grants to make up the difference.

The fact the Women’s Refuge had almost met its target was scary, she said.

“We have just been so so busy. We attend rural areas’ family violence meetings once a week in both Gore and Balclutha.”

The centre was “incredibly lucky” to have a supportive community behind it, which donated goods to the centre.

At present the centre had enough baby toys and clothing but required items for older children, especially boys and teenagers.

“We need clothing for boys 3 years old and upwards – any activities for teenagers to engage in as well.”

The centre would also be grateful for donations of non-perishable foods and premade meals which could be frozen, she said.

At present, the centre had four full-time staff members and five volunteers, but it could always use more volunteers to staff phone lines and help with various activities.

“We can always use the extra help. We have a crisis line, there is a roster for that, and we put any volunteers through national training to support them in every way possible so it’s not scary for them.”

Earlier in the week, the Women’s Refuge hosted a “Back to School” day at the Gore Multisports Complex for children in the area to enjoy.

Office manager Talia Andrews said about 15 children attended the day, which was packed with activities for them to enjoy.

“All of the kids really enjoyed themselves – everyone got really involved. It was a good environment for them to be a part of,” Mrs Andrews said.

The children were given stationery packs for when they went back to school at the end of the month.

A pool-party-style event was also held in Balclutha yesterday.

Mrs Munroe urged the community to acknowledge family violence and said the centre was always there to help.

“Family violence is an issue. We have a fantastic community here who donate their time.”