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Heraldic flags mark covid history

Kate Cameron-Donald has used her skills to give back to the Women’s Refuge during lockdown. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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Wairarapa old girl and Air New Zealand ‘skynest’ designer Kate Cameron-Donald found a productive way to use her skills and time off work during covid-19 to raise money for Women’s Refuge.

The Covid Flag Project launched on Sunday, and Cameron-Donald said it had been exciting to sell pieces to people she doesn’t know.

The project occurred to her after a huge feeling of gratitude to be at home and safe during the lockdown caused her a sense of guilt when she realised there are women and children who were not so fortunate.

“What is my safe haven is someone else’s really stressful environment – I kept questioning how I could help out those in need,” Cameron-Donald said.

“Even if I have not necessarily had direct experience with domestic violence, I want to see all other women and their families and children thrive.”

For Cameron-Donald, flag slogans came from watching the daily address by the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

“I don’t have millions of dollars to give away and I wasn’t working for a food based organisation where I could gift excess food to people but what I did realise is I could gift the extra time that I found myself with as well as my energy and creative skills.”

Having launched the heraldic flags series on her website last weekend Cameron-Donald said it draws from her strong Scottish background using coats of arms and tartan themes.

Gill Flower, Wairarapa Police’s Family Harm co-ordinator said while Auckland had a massive increase in domestic violence call outs during the lockdown, Wairarapa family harm call outs surprisingly dropped lower than compared with non-covid times.

“Our view is there probably was a higher amount of family harm, but we did not see it in the reports that were coming through,” Flower said. “That is not unusual because there is so much that goes unreported.”

Police referrals to the Women’s Refuge in Wairarapa still happened every day during lockdown.

Women’s Refuge were “our go-to on a daily basis”, Flower said.

“Over the lockdown period, they were one of the few social agencies that continued to work through,” Flower said.

“Family Works and Changeability were available, but they had limits as to what they could do for us because of lockdown [restrictions].”

Cameron-Donald’s prints are available for pre-order at www.katecamerondonald.com/shop

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