Summer camp set up by woman beaten by footballer ex-partner Reese Thompson helps others

Danielle Thomas runs the Dragonfly and Hummingbird Community Interest Company

A woman from Doncaster who was severely beaten by her former partner has been running a pop-up 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.

The pop-up retreat runs during summer

This summer, the Dragonfly and Hummingbird Community Interest Company, set up by Danielle, has helped 35 families - who are invited for a 3 nights stay at no cost.

Ms Thomas said: "Being able to be away somewhere where all the distractions are taken away, everything is provided for you, it gives you the chance to be back in control and think what is my next step."

It has taken a year to bring this project to life which has been supported by donations, grants and businesses - who have given everything from labour to duvets.

And those taking part have had the chance to try a range of activities from yoga, reflexology, to dance while camping out.

Jodie is another survivor of abuse who's former husband was jailed for 18 years for abusing her.

She said: "I was really, really quiet, really scared and really panicky about talking to people or even being in a new environment.

"But because I'm with survivors and very like-minded people, we just felt so at ease, chilled out . The environment is absolutely outstanding, I could not believe how Danielle has pulled this off."

The project has been supported by donations, grants and businesses.

Another survivor of domestic abuse described how the camp has helped her come to terms with the past.

She said: "You've got this new little family.

"For me, I did shut it off quite a lot so it was as almost like I needed to be able to deal with it and not leave it at the back of my mind and it did bring a lot to the forefront but not in a bad way.

"It's there, it happened. I need to deal with this."


Help and support

If you need support or advice about anything visit our advice page.

Call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247 for confidential, non-judgemental information and support.

Women's Aid - for information and support, email helpline@womensaid.org.uk or use the instant messaging service.

Call 07542513099

Contact a local domestic abuse service by using the Domestic Abuse Directory.

If you are in immediate danger, call 999.


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