In her spare time, Claire Hartley (our very own SWESRS Care Coordinator), set up the ‘Bags of Kindness’ community group, during the first Covid19 lockdown, in support of domestic abuse refuges in East London and Essex. She had been horrified to read about the rapidly increasing rates of reported domestic abuse and felt that she simply had to do something to support these ladies and families, at such a difficult time.

“Lockdown was hard for us all, but unimaginable when you’re living in a violent or abusive home. And of course for those who have escaped, to try and rebuild their lives at such a challenging time when so many services are stretched due to demand, paused or closed because of financial difficulties.”

Bags of Kindness donates bags of essential toiletries for women and buddy bags for children for when they first arrive into safe houses. Both are designed to make life a little bit easier and more comfortable. The buddy bags are tailor made and contain pyjamas and slippers/socks, a book, teddy, toy, colouring book etc.

It would be absolutely wonderful to have the commitment of SWESRS members by way of supporting the Buddy Bags with donations of brand new children’s pyjamas.  Bags of Kindness have created an Amazon wish list, specifically for the shul, whereby you can purchase a pair of pyjamas for a child arriving into a domestic abuse refuge. All purchases made from the wish list are sent directly to the Bags of Kindness address, so it promises to be a simple and hassle free transaction. The wish list can be found here!

If you are interested in finding out how else you can get involved with this amazing project just drop an email to

Thank you so much in anticipation of your generosity, support and commitment to our local community.