Bank managers help women get back on their feet

WHEN a woman flees from a crisis or domestic violence situation, packing everyday items with her is the last thing on her mind. 

GIFT OF GIVING: CBA area manager for retail Michael Eekelshot and Tamworth Family Support Service general manager Belinda Kotris.

GIFT OF GIVING: CBA area manager for retail Michael Eekelshot and Tamworth Family Support Service general manager Belinda Kotris.

But a group of Commonwealth Bank (CBA) managers from across the region have banded together to package up baskets filled with household goods for women fleeing domestic violence. 

The kits were distributed to women leaving the Tamworth Women’s Refuge, run by Tamworth Family Support Service, to help set up their new home.

The baskets included items like new dinner sets, cutlery sets, kettles, mugs, glasses, toasters, saucepans, tea towels, laundry basket, basic appliance tools.

Tamworth Family Support business development manager Leigh Smith said they would go a long way in helping women to start over.

“When they come to us, they’re living in a crisis situations so they don’t usually take anything with them,” Mr Smith said.

“It’s such a relief to them (to get some help).”

CBA retail area manager Michael Eekelshot said the project not only helped women in our own backyard, but also backed up the company’s commitment to raising awareness about domestic violence.

“It was really good to see engagement on their faces,” Mr Eekelshot said.

“The impost of (our) time is nothing compared to what they’re going through. 

“It’s not just about team-building, but is also about helping someone hugely disadvantaged.”

Mr Eekelshot said attitudes towards domestic violence were starting to change in the community.

“Even in the company we’ve changed a lot of policies on how we can support people affected by domestic violence,” he said.

“As a society, (there is more awareness), but we have a long way to go.

“It’s not just about the bruises.

“Some violence isn’t physical, some can be emotional or even financial.

“It’s all about awareness and empowerment.”

  • Lifeline 13 11 14
  • Domestic Violence Hotline 02 8294 1230
  • Tamworth Family Support Service 02 6763 2333
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