Often, at A Way Out Charity, we have the opportunity and honour of hosting visits from our supporters and funders and as part of this have the opportunity to provide a brief tour of our Stockton riverside centre and its facilities.
Without doubt, the one room that can be the most impactful for these visitors is at the very centre of the building. This room is the bathroom, especially designed for the women that we support. You may be wondering why this room leaves such a memorable impression? After all it's just a normal bathroom... the same as bathrooms found in many homes, it is clean, warm and beautifully fitted with everything a woman needs for a relaxing bath or shower. It could almost be described as luxurious.
Just hold that thought....
Now imagine being in a situation where you may not have a stable and permanent place to live, perhaps 'sofa surfing' – sleeping on the sofa in a friend’s living room- or constantly moving from one hostel to the next, continually uprooting your entire life and belongings and moving on from room to room, week by week. In addition, when money is really tight and purchasing even basics such as food becomes an issue, expenditure on personal toiletries really is a luxury.
For the clients with whom we work, the bathroom at A Way Out is available any time of day during our working hours... and it is used often. A safe and secure haven of peace and relaxation in an environment that is centred upon compassion, love and care. A place at the heart of the building, which allows a private time for reflection, a time for recovery, a time for decision making, a time to think of positive new directions....
The lives of many women have been completely changed during their visits to our bathroom while they contemplate new dreams and resolutions in the course of a precious soak in a scented bath at A Way Out. An everyday, simple and basic need is met – with a significant impact. With the extensive support of our A Way Out case workers, these dreams and resolutions do become reality.
A Way Out can provide all that the women need when they visit our bathroom, clean towels, toiletries, soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion... thanks to continued kind donations from supporters. Sometimes the toiletry supplies run a little low and this is where you can help – a donation of shower gel or other toiletry items would go a long way to helping us provide a comfortable environment which could change a life.