Dame Julie Walters appeals for donations to help West Sussex charity continue supporting women

Dame Julie Walters, patron of a women's domestic abuse charity in West Sussex, has issued a video appeal for donations.

Monday, 4th May 2020, 12:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 12:43 pm
Dame Julie Walters opened the International Women's Day event at The Regis Centre in Bognor in March. Photo: Steve Robards SR2003061

The BAFTA-winning actress opened My Sisters' House refurbished centre in Bognor Regis last August, before visiting the town again in March for the International Women's Day conference. In between the two visits, she was named as the first patron of the charity. Read more hereIn a video appeal for tomorrow's 'global campaign', Giving Tuesday Now, Dame Julie said: "It's really to support local charities during this appalling time we're living through.

"My Sister's House is a women's centre in Bognor Regis. They provide advice, support, practical support, guidance they're just there for women who are suffering domestic abuse, poverty and mental health issues.

"I've seen first hand what they can do and they are amazing. That's why I'm patron.

"The success stories are enough to make you cry."

The star of Harry Potter and Mamma Mia asked people to make 'any donation you can', whether it's £3 a month or a 'one-off donation to help them through this period'.

She added: "Domestic abuse has gone through the roof and mental health issues and poverty the same. There's a lot of women out there that need support.

"If you can, it would be brilliant. You simply have to go to the website and click donate.

Dame Julie Walters, pictured with My Sisters' House CEO Julie Budge,opened the domestic abuse charity's refurbished centrelast August. Photo: Sarah Standing

"Just remember that all of these women are somebody's mum, gran, sister, daughter, cousin, carer, mate or neighbour. We all know somebody, probably.

"I'm just thanking you in advance and hoping you will make some little donation."

My Sisters' House has 'adapted and extended' its services during the coronavirus pandemic but is still providing three helplines.

A spokesperson said: "[This includes] the only Live Chat and Out of Hours service in West Sussex providing advice, information & guidance to women living with domestic abuse, poverty and mental health issues.

"We need to increase the hours our helpline and live chat hours operate now, then when we are released from lockdown, we want to open the doors longer including maintaining the live chat and our out of hours service.

"We need to ensure we have enough specialist trained staff available provide advice, safety planning and risk assessments for women living with abuse or in recovery of abuse.

"To do this we need your help."

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