Charity appeals for gifts for homeless and other forgotten women at Christmas

The season is hard for those without a home, who have little more than the clothes on their back

A CARDIFF women’s centre is asking for gifts to bring some Christmas cheer to people finding this time of year particularly difficult.

Some women who use the centre are homeless and come in to dry their blankets. “It’s all they have,” said Catherine Linnie-Godden, activities coordinator at Safer Wales.

She has been at the charity for three years and has noticed an increase in not just numbers, but also the needs of the women through the cost-of-living crisis. Around 500 women used their services between July and September this year. In the same period in 2022 the figure was about 200.

Visitors to the centre include victims of domestic violence and sexual exploitation and women who have been released from prison, or are otherwise invisible to society.

“Cardiff is having a housing crisis at the minute. So many of our women cannot get accommodation and a lot who do can only stay there for a few hours at a time, and are not allowed to stay during the day,” said Ms Linnie-Godden.

The women’s centre is a safe space where they can go to relax and engage in activities like painting and cooking. There are also washrooms available stocked with donated toiletries.

Along with essential toiletries, the charity is asking people to donate puzzle books, fuzzy socks, and sweets so they can give them out as gifts.

“I remember a woman who hadn’t had a Christmas present in over 10 years,” Ms Linnie-Godden told The Cardiffian.

“Even just fuzzy socks, they might not mean much to me and you but they mean the world to our women.”

Some women at the centre haven’t received a gift in years. Image credit: Pixabay

If you need support or want to donate to the women’s centre, contact Safer Wales by email at or by calling 029 2022 0033.