ILKLEY Soroptimists welcomed Kath Tarpy, women’s refuge and safe house manager at Staying Put, to a recent meeting to present her with donations.

Staying Put is a domestic abuse and sexual violence charity working across the Bradford area, which runs four safe houses and dispersed properties, as well as the Keighley refuge. The Ilkley club raised £500 of which £300 was given in Asda food vouchers for women who are fleeing violence and abuse.

“Women often arrive with nothing and immediately need food for themselves and their children,” said Kath. She expressed her thanks for the donations adding: “The women who join us are incredibly brave coming here for safety here having left everything behind. Our focus is to make this a happy place, we do everything we can to help them plan for a settled future. We recently held a Hallowe’en party at the refuge and dispersed properties and all 37 residents came. All the women and children will have a Christmas present this year.”

Ilkley Soroptimists will mark November 25 by joining other Soroptimists across the world who are taking action and calling for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This year the Ilkley club is decorating a Christmas tree for the festival at St Margaret’s Church.

“We are decorating the tree with messages and orange items as orange is the colour chosen by the United Nations to draw attention to the crime of gender - based violence that so many women across the world and locally experience," said Sue Butler, President - Elect of Soroptimist International of Yorkshire. “Please come to St Margaret’s Church on 8th and 9th December 10am to 6pm to see our display among all the other decorated trees. We will then move our tree to the foyer of Christchurch so even more of the town will be able to see our powerful message.”