Mum on a mission to help domestic abuse victims across east London  

The daughter of a domestic abuse victim has made it her mission to help other women in need across east London. 

Wanstead mother-of-one Christina Harvey saw her own mum fall victim to domestic abuse when she was just five-years-old. 

The now 41-year-old and her mother escaped the family home and had to live in a women's refuge for sixth months until they were given somewhere else to live. 

She said: "I absolutely hated it, it was the worst experience of my life. 

"The two of us were stuck in a tiny room and the facilities were awful. 

"Everything we had was packed in one suitcase. 

"I remember my mum always told me not to get dirty because she had no way of washing my clothes. 

"I wouldn't want any child to feel like that anywhere ever again." 

Mrs Harvey first came up with the idea of helping local women in need a year and a half ago when she saw a Facebook post looking for a buggy to give a to a nearby refuge.  

After successfully donating her pram she got in contact with a charity called Hestia who runs the refuge in Tower Hamlets.  

Refuge bosses told her they regularly received donation offers from people in east London and west Essex but had to refuse them because they had no where for them to go. 

So in November 2015 Mrs Harvey and South Woodford mum-of-two Nikki Christi offered to collect and deliver second hand goods for the refuge on a permanent basis. 

Mrs Harvey added: "The refuge was over the moon when we told them. 

"People always tell us how amazing what we're doing is, but it's not really us, it’s our members. 

"The mums of east London and west Essex are so incredibly generous. 

"It's amazing what they're willing to give up to help other people." 

A year and a half later the Women in Need (WIN) Facebook group has over 1,400 members across Redbridge, Waltham Forest, and Epping Forest.  

The two mums visit the refuge with donations twice a week, which they store in their spare rooms and garages. 

Last week (April 21) Mrs Harvey and Wanstead mum-of-four Georgie Chambury Burke launched another project called Women in Need London. 

The new non-profit organisation sells sweatshirts with the WIN logo written on them to raise money for things families at the refuge cannot get second hand like underwear, food vouchers, and pricey electronics. 

Mrs Harvey said: "We aim to get new arrivals everything they need in the first 72 hours. 

"Because if they get there only to realise everything they need is back at home, they might find themselves tempted to go back. 

"With the money from the sweatshirts we can have money in the pot ready to buy them what they need right when they need it. 

"It's amazing to know that these women who have been brave enough to get themselves out of their terrible situations have all these other women rooting for them when they do." 

To order your WIN sweatshirt, see the website