Virtual Walkathon Raises Over $38,000 Supporting Women and Children Escaping Domestic Violence

Throughout the lockdown months of September and October, local communities, residents and supporters participated in an exciting virtual walkathon, raising over $38,000 to support women and children escaping domestic and family violence and homelessness.

Hosted by the Parramatta Cumberland Family and Domestic Violence Prevention Committee (PCFDVC) for Parramatta Women’s Shelter (PWS), the walk’s success is step forward in assisting vulnerable women get back on their feet to provide them with a safe place to stay.

‘It was an absolute pleasure to help fundraise for Parramatta Women’s Shelter over the past few months. The Parramatta Cumberland Family and Domestic Violence Prevention Committee understand The Shelter’s need for permanent, ongoing financial support from community members, and we are committed to supporting the Shelter in achieving its long-term goals,’ said Salwa Albaz, member of the Committee.

‘Grass roots organisations, such as Parramatta Women’s Shelter, are vital in ensuring the safety and security of women and children fleeing domestic and family violence and homelessness, thus financial support for the shelter is key to its hard work and longevity.’

Parramatta Women’s Shelter Co-Chairs Liz Scully and Caitlin Carpenter were thrilled by the community spirit and support which helped them surpass their original goal of $30,000 with flying colours.

‘We are so grateful for the immense support and generosity from the local community and our sponsors, in helping us achieve our goal to support women and children in crisis particularly during such challenging times, said Liz.  

‘Violence against women and children is one of Australia’s greatest challenges and these funds will continue to help our families move forward in safe, affordable, longer- term housing as well as provide them with the care and services they may need,’ said Caitlin.

Tania Smith, the Shelter Manager at Parramatta Women’s Shelter also commended everyone who participated in the event.

‘We have been overwhelmed by the community support for this fundraiser and are so thankful to the PCFDVPC and Cumberland Women’s Health Centre for their hard work and dedication.  This has been instrumental in helping us achieve our target.  The funds will go a long way to allow us to continue the important work of keeping women and children safe,’ she said.

PAYCE Foundation and Paynter Dixon Team were one of the biggest supporters of the event, raising $5,622 . The PAYCE Foundation, who have been a long term supporter of the shelter, providing five dwellings for six families who require crisis accommodation and transitional housing, have also agreed to match the money raised by their team.

PAYCE Foundation Director Dominic Sullivan congratulated PWS on a highly successful fundraiser.

‘There was a concerning spike in the number of domestic and family violence incidents during COVID-19, so this initiative could not come at a better time,’’ he said.

‘We are pleased to support PWS and to donate a total of $11,244, with the help of staff from PAYCE and Paynter Dixon.

‘I am sure the funds will be put to good use, giving more women and children a chance to start a new life free of violence.’

In celebration of the walkathon’s success, a breakfast was held in Parramatta on Friday 5 November to thank all their supporters which included, Parramatta Council, Cumberland Council, PAYCE Foundation, Parramatta Police and Cumberland Police.

For assistance in finding accommodation at refuges, including Parramatta Women’s Shelter, contact Link2Home on 1800 152 152.

If you or someone you know is in danger, please call 000 or the Domestic Violence Line on 1800 65 64 63.