THE Cherries Community Fund has made a donation to help youngsters affected by domestic abuse.

Staff from the women's refuge in Poole have welcomed the £1,000 donation from AFC Bournemouth's community fund.

During the first ten month of this year, the refuge took 111 referrals, with 137 children affected.

The refuge, which is run by local housing and support provider BCHA, plans to use the money to fund fun activities and equipment to assist in delivering therapeutic support for children in its services, both within the refuge and through outreach work.

BCHA's Poole domestic abuse project leader Laura Argent said: "We are extremely grateful for the generosity of AFC Bournemouth Cherries Community Fund, which will significantly help us support the children within our services."

The refuge has 18 self-contained apartments, of which 17 are dedicated for women - and one dedicated for male abuse victims.

All of the flats accommodate children.

Laura said: "From January to October, this year, we have already had 111 referrals for refuge space at Poole.

"Fifteen of these referrals were for men and 96 referrals were for females, while there were also 137 children included within these referrals.

"Our service aims to provide therapeutic support to children who have been affected by domestic abuse.

"We provide a safe environment so they can open up about their experiences, we then provide them with tools and skills to help them overcome the abuse and thrive in the future."

AFC Bournemouth operates its popular Cherries Community draw at half time during matches, with proceeds going to a variety of local community causes.

Laura said: "This donation from AFC Bournemouth Cherries Community Fund is extremely positive for the service and will enhance the support we deliver by allowing us to provide more therapeutic equipment and activities for the children."