Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visited a London branch of Boots yesterday to hear about the company’s Safe Spaces initiative for sufferers of domestic abuse.
Amid concerns that domestic abuse could be on the rise during the coronavirus pandemic, Boots partnered with the charity Hestia in May to offer pharmacy consultation rooms to victims of domestic abuse to help them get in touch with specialist services.
During her visit to Boots’ Piccadilly store the duchess heard about the support abuse victims are being offered and was also updated on the Washbags Project she helped launch in 2017, which aims to ensure victims of sexual assault can access toiletries after undergoing a forensic examination.
She commented: “I’d like to thank Boots for all it’s done throughout lock down, especially for these two causes which are both very close to my heart, for opening these safe rooms, also continuing to support with washbags, they make a huge difference.”
Boots UK chief operating officer Tracey Clements said: “We know that our pharmacies have long been a place where people can turn for help and advice on their local high streets.
“It’s at times like these when our 2,400 stores in communities across the UK take on increased value as a place of safety that’s freely accessible in the local community for those who need it. We are very grateful for Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to our store in Piccadilly, and for her continued support.”
Lyndsey Dearove, head of Hestia’s UK Says No More initiative, commented: “Restrictions due to Covid-19 have left many victims of domestic abuse trapped and isolated from friends, family and other support networks. Our Safe Spaces initiative, first launched with Boots, provides a vital lifeline which will continue to be needed even as lockdown ends.
“Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall has already done much to raise awareness of domestic abuse and we hope her visit today will help more victims of domestic abuse to know that they can come to a Safe Space to reach support.”