Businesses Gift to Fortalice
24th February 2021
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WHEN women and children escape domestic abuse to find safety in Bolton’s Fortalice refuge they sometimes bring few possessions with them.

“Often, they just throw a few things into a binbag and escape the best way they can,” explained Fortalice Chief Executive Gill Smallwood.

So when they arrive at the refuge, they often need lots of support, including help with clothes and toiletries.

Now, a local businesswoman is finding a way to fund those vital toiletries for all the refuge’s new residents.

Gayle McBain has been a manager with Body Shop at Home for the past five years after a lengthy career in journalism, mainly at the Bolton News.

“I have written many articles about Fortalice over the years and have always been impressed by the service provided and the work carried out with vulnerable women and children,” she stated.

“I wanted to do something to help them with my Body Shop at Home business and felt that creating welcome bags for new residents would be a great way.”

So Gayle has put together bags containing £30 worth of product essentials including shampoo, shower gel, soap and deodorant. She is donating any commission to fund more bags and an anonymous donation bought the first five for residents.

Now, Gayle wants to hear from individuals and businesses willing to put £5, £10, £15 or £30 towards more bags to ensure that every new resident is given toiletries from the famous ethical brand.

Commented Gill Smallwood: “We’re very grateful to Gayle for helping us with these lovely welcome bags. These are essential for our new residents who need every kind of daily item.”

Anyone who would like to donate towards the Fortalice welcome bags should contact Gayle on 07791 196834 or email


Caption: Gayle McBain from Body Shop at Home with one of the welcome bags she has created for residents at the Fortalice refuge

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