Domestic abuse survivor to create rural South Yorkshire retreat for families

A woman from Doncaster who was severely beaten by her ex-partner is creating a rural camping retreat for other survivors of domestic abuse. 

Danielle Thomas suffered serious injuries after being attacked by her then-boyfriend, footballer Reese Thompson.

Thompson was jailed for 40 months in 2019 after pleading guilty to damaging property, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and inflicting grievous bodily harm.

Danielle's ex-partner Reece Thompson was jailed for 40 months in 2019.

Danielle said: "The things that my ex did to me were getting more vicious, more degrading.

"He'd done stuff like smashed two mirrors over my head, then beat me with an iron bar. I became a shell of who I was.

"I actually did try to take my own life because I felt so guilty for what I believed I'd done to my children, I know that's not the case now. I just felt very ashamed and it was hard to cope with.

Using her own money, grant funding, and donations to a crowdfunding appeal, Danielle is now planning to create a free all-inclusive campsite on land in South Yorkshire, that she hopes will provide a safe, relaxing and educational environment for domestic abuse survivors and their children. 

Danielle says it will be a place where children can play and explore nature, while survivors can also receive therapy and advice from professional volunteers.

Local domestic abuse charities will refer people to the project, which is called The Dragonfly & The Humming Bird CIC, and families will be able to spend long weekends at the site between June and September.

Charities say the pandemic has led to those experiencing domestic abuse feeling even more isolated and cut off from support and mental health services.

If you are experiencing any issues involving domestic abuse help is available via the following links: