A REFUGE that offers support to victims of domestic violence is set to benefit from a generous donation from the Co-op.

Retailer The Midcounties Co-operative is celebrating after raising a life-changing £330,000 for Women’s Aid in a two-year partnership.

Swindon Women’s Aid is expected to receive around £7,000 of the donation. Centres in Wolverhampton, Walsall, Shropshire, Wyre Forest, Warwickshire, High Wycombe, Oxfordshire, Forest of Dean and Gloucestershire will also benefit.

Colleagues across Midcounties’ businesses, including food retail, travel, childcare, pharmacy, funeral, energy and flexible benefits, got behind the cause by giving practical help at refuges, raising awareness of domestic violence and using enterprising ways to raise money.

They held fun events, sold designer shopping bags, hosted football tournaments, baked cakes and held other fundraisers.

Jahmene Douglas, runner-up in last year’s X Factor, who is Women’s Aid ambassador for children and young people, accepted the donation on the charity’s behalf.

Olwen Kelly, director of Swindon Women’s Aid, said: “Midcounties Co-operative have done an amazing job in raising £330,000 for Women’s Aid nationally. It’s great that their staff have supported their local refuge at Christmas by providing gifts and helping with decorating.

“Jahmene has done much to increase awareness of domestic violence and abuse nationally.

“Locally, Swindon Women’s Aid has previously benefited from these national donations, receiving £3,750 in 2011 and £4,200 in 2012.

“We have used this funding to directly support victims and children living in the Swindon area but continue to rely on the generosity of local communities and organisations to assist us.

“This was especially true at Christmas and we were grateful to the people of Swindon who provided us with food hampers and gifts for victims who were living in our emergency accommodation.”

Jahmene, whose family was helped by Women’s Aid, said: “I’m proud to accept the cheque from Midcounties on behalf of Women’s Aid.”