Sam Billingham is a survivor of domestic abuse and the founder of SODA, Survivors of Domestic Abuse which is a voluntary group offering online and ongoing support to survivors and warriors of domestic abuse.
People think it's easy to just leave an abusive relationship but it isn't, many leave with nothing more than the clothes on their back and we want to give them a little something so they can at least see light at the end of the tunnel.
As well as providing much needed provisions for survivors and warriors, this ongoing project is bringing survivors together and many now want to volunteer and support this project which is just amazing.
Bag of Life Project:
Bag of Life project is about giving life back to those who are fleeing domestic abuse, whereby we are asking people to kindly donate toiletries, sanitary products and old but working mobile phones to SODA so that we can pass them on to local safe houses.
Dudley borough-based organisation Survivors of Domestic Abuse (SODA) has launched a new project called 'Bag of Life' to collect items to be donated towards Black Country Women's Aid, Birmingham & Solihull Women's Aid and West Mercia Women's Aid.
Domestic abuse survivor and founder of SODA, Samantha Billingham, said: "I set up SODA in May 2009 as an online support group, after I left my own abusive relationship in November 2006, to help reduce isolation and raise awareness.
"I wanted to do something a little different and more hands on and came up with the idea Bag of Life, so we can give something to those who find the courage and strength to leave their abusive relationship."
"Our main aim is to prevent domestic abuse from happening, but we also understand how difficult it is to actually leave the relationship.
"Many survivors leave with nothing at all, so we felt that our new and ongoing project would at least give them something."
The 37-year-old single mum added: "Mobile phones are the biggest controlled thing in abusive relationships so the idea of donating a mobile phone is huge, it prevents the abuser from contacting the survivor persuading them to go back."
FAB The Salon in Quarry Bank High Street and Fave Rave, in Lower High Street, Stourbridge, are two drop off points where people can take their donations should they want to support the project.
Sarah Alicia Jane Wood, salon owner, said: "FAB The Salon is supporting SODA as we strongly believe in the difference they make to those in need.
"With our huge FAB client base and following we hope to gain a great amount of donations."
For more information about the work of SODA and the Bag of Life campaign visit www.sodahq.uk.