The Refuge Tree

It’s that time of year again! When I don trainers and a variety of clashing neon sportswear bargains and ask you to support my London Marathon fundraising efforts for Refuge, a brilliant charity which helps women living with domestic violence. Except this time, instead of just asking you to sponsor me, I have bigger and more exciting plans afoot! Mainly, this:

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A glorious collaboration between lots of amazing women artists and illustrators and all round good eggs which has had me positively skipping with delight the last few weeks, as my vague idea has taken root into something bigger than I could have imagined possible.

I’ve collaged the silhouetted branches of a tree (currently 90cm wide x 115.5cm tall, and growing), cut it up into over 90 postcards and sent these out to the aforementioned wonderful, all-female crew who are going to draw anything they like on their own section. The tree will be reassembled for International Women’s Day on the 8th March and the individual postcards auctioned off on Ebay, with all proceeds going to Refuge. The auction will run here from Thursday 7th - Sunday 10th March - follow me on Twitter and Instagram for updates.

*UPDATE* I’m very excited to announce that the wonderful London Review Bookshop is going to display the tree in their shop window! I’ll be installing it on the 1st March and it will stay up for about 2 weeks. Head over to 14 Bury Place (near the British Museum) to see the finished Refuge Tree in all it’s glory!

This charity is so important to me. One in four women in the UK will experience an abusive relationship in their lifetime. I didn’t realise how real this statistic was until I started talking more openly about my own experience, which makes me all the more determined to continue raising awareness. You can read a bit more on my fundraising page here. Helping those who have experienced violence and abuse is at the core of everything Refuge does, and their work includes aiding women experiencing domestic violence, sexual violence, ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage, FGM, human trafficking and modern slavery.

I really want to raise as much money as possible and hopefully this tree will give my marathon fundraising a fantastic start!

So I’m very excited to reveal the names of the artists taking part:

I’ve been so overwhelmed by the positive response. Thank you so much everyone for your support! You can follow the tree’s progress by searching #RefugeTree on Instagram and Twitter. I cannot wait to see it take shape!