Kind hearts donate gifts to children in refuge accommodation

Communities / Tue 15th Dec 2015 at 02:58pm

Refuge DonationsTHANKS to the generosity of local people more than 300 donated gifts will be presents for local families staying in refuge accommodation this Christmas.

The donated presents for the Harlow Domestic Abuse Forum Christmas appeal were handed over today (Tuesday 15 December 2015) at the Civic Centre to charity Safer Places who run local refuges. Attending the handing over were representatives from Safer Places, participating shops and Harlow Council staff.

Over 250 toys were donated and bought at the following participating shops: Asda, Matalan, Sainsburys, Tesco Metro (Harvey Centre) and Toys R Us. Gifts were also donated for the appeal by the B & M store and Tesco at Church Langley.

A further 80 gifts have also been separately donated by Harlow Council staff and will be presents for children to give to parents staying in refuges.

Jan Dalrymple at Safer Places, said: “As Christmas approaches most of us look forward to spending time with our family and friends and look forward to the promise of a New Year and so it is a particularly hard time for families we support and who live in our refuges. We have been overwhelmed this year by the kindness and generosity of those who have given presents and everyone at the Council and in the shops who has helped to organise the appeal . We cannot tell you how grateful we are or just how much your kindness will mean to those we support. Sometimes amidst all the commercialism it is easy to wonder where the spirit of Christmas has gone – but I can tell you it is certainly alive and well in Harlow.”

Councillor Tony Hall, Chair of Harlow Council, who handed over the donated gifts, said: “Evidence shows that domestic violence increases this time of year meaning some children and families affected may not be able to celebrate Christmas at home. The donated gifts will help bring some festive cheer at a particularly difficult time for the families affected. It can be the case that families staying in refuge accommodation have to move quickly leaving belongings and presents at home, so the kindness of residents will make a difference this Christmas. I would like to thank local people who have taken the time to buy a gift, Council staff and all the shops which took part and supported this worthwhile appeal.”

“This is also a time to raise awareness of the support which is available to both men and women who are suffering from domestic violence. There is help available.”

If you are a man or woman who is being hurt, threatened or controlled you can get help:

· In an emergency ring 999

· Safer Places support for adults and children: 0845 0177 668

· National Domestic Violence Helpline (for women): 0808 2000 247

· Men’s advice line: 0808 801 0327

· Victim Support: 0845 456 5995

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