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Leading domestic abuse charity, Solace, partners with Eastenders actress Milly Zero to help women stay safe this Christmas as calls to helpline expected to increase by 65% (Solace, 2023*).
Solace announces the launch of its ‘Safe This Christmas’ fundraising campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness and funding to provide crucial support and life-saving services to women experiencing violence, particularly in the run up to Christmas when Solace know they will have a huge rise in calls and demand for their services and support.
The campaign features Eastenders star, Milly Zero, in the role of ‘Amy’, a woman fleeing an abusive relationship. Amy is bombarded with increasingly desperate and threatening text messages from her partner, James. She finds solidarity and sisterhood in a revelling Christmas choir on a London bus on her way to a Solace refuge where she is finally able to spend Christmas safe and free from fear.
Over 200 women and children will be spending Christmas in Solace’s 22 refuges across London. Leaving a relationship is often the most dangerous time for women and their families. Often, the moment an abuser’s power and control are threatened is when violence is most likely to escalate. Amy’s story serves as a reminder of the strength and resilience of survivors, and the importance of a safe space.
Nahar Choudhury, Solace CEO says, ‘We wanted to highlight one of many stories of the hundreds of women we have in refuge every Christmas. We know the strength it takes to leave an abusive relationship and we know that reports increase this time of year. While domestic abuse happens all year round, Christmas can leave women experiencing abuse feeling particularly isolated, scared and alone. We want women to know that help and support is available.’
Solace is delighted to have the support of actress, Milly Zero, who delivers an incredibly moving performance as Amy. Zero’s breakout role as Dotty Cotton in Eastenders earned her recognition and praise from audiences and critics alike. Since establishing herself on the small screen, Milly has continued to work in television, as well as theatre and film. Her commitment to raising awareness for important social issues has made her an ideal partner for Solace’s fundraising campaign.
Milly Zero says, ‘I started working with Solace around the time of Sarah Everard’s murder, which was so tragic, and happened just down the road from me, so a lot of women in my community started to talk about violence against women more. I know what an amazing charity Solace is, and how much the people who work there care – the volunteers, the staff – and I’ve heard all about the extra touches they give to make Christmas a special time, like having a little Christmas tree in your room. Now, more than ever, is such a great time to get behind such a wonderful organisation. It’s just a joy to be working alongside a charity that believes in everything that I do and aligns with my views and my values.’
Bunmi Idumu, Solace Survivor Ambassador, and former refuge resident says, ‘I had left an extremely violent, controlling and emotionally abusive man and Solace helped me get through it, to where I am today. Basically, they empowered me because it was from here, I knew I wasn’t living my life. I wasn’t given the opportunity to live my life. Arriving at the refuge at Solace, it felt like a safe house – more than a safe house, it was the first time I had control.’
The campaign features the musical talents of Lips Choir, a trans-inclusive women’s choir based in London. Solace chose to partner with Lips due to their shared feminist values that seek to empower women. Jessie Maryon Davies, Lips Choir’s Musical Director says, ‘Lips is an intersectional feminist choir and supporting a charity as amazing as Solace is really important to us. Raising your voice and singing with people around you that you love in order to support a cause that’s important is a powerful thing and we’re so proud to be able to do that.’
Solace encourages everyone to join them in their mission to end domestic abuse and support survivors this Christmas. Donations are critical in enabling the organisation to reach and assist more women and children. By supporting the ‘Safe This Christmas’ campaign, individuals can make a significant impact in transforming the lives of survivors and helping them build a future free from violence.
Watch our film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=td32tLE4jxM
To donate, click here: www.solacewomensaid.org/donate
For media enquiries contact email@example.com
For fundraising enquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org
*Solace statistic based on average helpline call figures from Jan 2022 – Jan 2023.
A huge thanks to everyone who helped bring our campaign to life:
Kirsty Malcolm, Roll Nine – Producer
Roz Wyllie, Beth Rollings, Rosie Okumbe – Solace Executive Producers
Zoe Hunter-Gordon – Director
Milly Zero – Lead Actor
Sim Mandair – Solace Actor
Jessie Maryon Davies, Lips Choir – Vocals + Extras
Laura Seward, Director of Photography
Josh Wikin – Associate Producer
Louise Centioni, Castelle Sound – Audio
Laura Flack – 1st AC
Michal Mroczek – 2nd AC
Daniel Temple – Gaffer
Dylan Osborne – Spark
Hannah Williams – Soundie
Lulu Pollice, Creep Entertainment – Colourist
Rio Blake – BTS Photography
Sophie Nicole, ES Agency London – Hair + Makeup Artist
Haze Films LTD – Kit Hire
Crawfords – Courier
TFL / Stagecoach – Bus Hire
Rosie Okumbe, Ellie Males, Rebecca Goshawk, Elisa Bellu, Ellie Greenhalgh – Extras