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New partnership in 2023/24 season with Leinster Rugby

January 3, 2024

Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services are the latest charity to partner with Leinster Rugby for the 2023/24 season and will work with the club for the month of January.

At an event at their UCD headquarters, Leinster Rugby players and staff welcomed representatives from the Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services and looked forward to highlighting the work that the charity does to help women and children affected by domestic violence across Meath and the north-east region.

Also in attendance were representatives from Leinster Rugby partners DigitalWell, who have been collaborating with the charity to enable them to provide some of the technological and phone infrastructure for their service users to avail of in times of crisis.

This collaboration has involved the launch of a Freefone Helpline, which was funded by the Bank of Ireland Begin Together fund earlier this year.

The Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services freephone helpline and refuge is open 24 hours-a-day all year round so that any woman that needs help can call them on 1800 46 46 46.

In attendance at the launch were Leinster Rugby players Aimee Clarke, Jack Conan and Robbie Henshaw, who lent the support of both senior teams to the partnership.

Established in 1987, the Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services is a registered charity and one of Navan’s longest established non-profit organisations. Its mission is to empower women and children who experience domestic violence and abuse on their journey towards safety, wellbeing, and recovery through providing specialist support services.

Speaking to leinsterrugby.ie, Sinead Smith, CEO on behalf of Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services said, “Despite all the changes in Ireland over the years, there are still many women and their children trapped in homes where violence, control and abuse are the norm.

“The research shows that one in four women will be affected by domestic violence and abuse which shows what a widespread problem it is in Ireland and around the world.

“Our organisation has been in existence for over 30 years, and we focus on providing the best possible supports for survivors of abuse, as well as advocacy and education towards a future where zero tolerance of violence against women and children is achieved.

“We are very grateful to DigitalWell for their support of the partnership and are thrilled to work with Leinster Rugby in 2024 to raise awareness of domestic violence and encourage any woman that needs support to reach out for help.

“Shockingly, Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services was unable to accommodate over 300 women requesting refuge last year due to a lack of space.”

In 2022, Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services provided 131 women and children with emergency refuge accommodation and supported 482 women in the community and in court.

The organisation provided 525 sessions of professional counselling for 164 women and 76 sessions of play and music therapy for children, all funded through grants and donations.

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