It was a great pleasure to visit XXX House* & hand over a donation as a joint effort with the Rotary Club of Whitstable to help support Rising Sun's HERstay project -which provides secure housing to young women that are pregnant or have a young baby
We recently heard from Judith Collins about HERstay, a project of local domestic violence charity Rising Sun to provide short-term housing to young women. These women are often at risk of domestic violence or have fractured relationships with their families; for many, the support received at the special house comes at a time they find incredibly challenging.
A few of our Members were invited to visit XXX House, which is the five-bedroomed house in Canterbury where the women are housed. They were shown around the accommodation (see picture), and while there were able to hand over a donation towards a secure gate for the children's play area. This money was the outcome of a joint effort between two local clubs: A member of our club, Rotarian and Past President Richard Kemball-Cook, had given a talk to the Rotary Club of Whitstable about the Rising Sun facility pre-Covid. The Whitstable club's members had indicated that they were keen to help in any way. So, after further discussion Richard had helped the Club with a successful application for a Rotary District Grant; furthermore Canterbury was able to contribute to that payment for the special gate.
We have been very happy to support the project. XXX House's staff provide family-style support to the young women and help the women to develop their life skills - for example, the women (many of whom have received poor parenting themselves) receive advice on parenting, relationships and budgeting as well as help and advice relating to studies or the workplace.
Women aged between 16 and 24 years old are generally referred to XXX by a number of agencies, including social services; they come at any time during their confirmed pregnancy and stay until the baby is 18 months - though most only stay until the baby is a year old. The accommodation is available to those of all faiths and none.
To find out more about HERstay, click here.
Picture: A room at XXX House. (Inset: President of the Rotary Club of Canterbury, Alan Mepstead, and Rotarian PP Richard Kemball-Cook hand over symbolic donation on behalf od the Rotary Clubs of Whitstable and Canterbury to Fran Ellis, Rising Sun's CEO. Picture credit: XXX/Rotary Club of Canterbury,
*Please note: this article has been modified to remove the name of the House for reasons of security.