Tell us a little about yourself and how/why you started the initiative?
My name is Kelly Williamson. I started this appeal when we had a sort out of our childrens toys three years ago. I wanted to donate the toys to a good cause and after some research, I came across the local women’s refuge.
Could you tell us more about the needs of the families?
The ladies and children in the refuge are all experiencing unfortunate circumstances. They are living away from their family environment over the Christmas period, so we like to provide sweets, toiletries, clothes and toys in the hope that they will have a better Christmas.
The local families that we support are experiencing tough times for a variety of reasons, most of which have children to feed and they are struggling financially. We will help them by providing food, clothing (for men, women and children), toys and toiletries. We also have a number of pregnant ladies who we are assisting by providing baby items and baby clothes.
What has the response been like from the Public so far?
Year on year the interest in this appeal has increased and so have the donations. This is our first year using the power social media and their are more businesses helping out than ever before.
How can people help or get involved?
People can get involved by liking and sharing our Facebook page facebook.com/christmasdonationsNE. If people are looking to donate items please contact us via facebook or by calling 07931795293. We can arrange collection if necessary and have drop off points in the area. Contact Kelly if you need any help / support or if you have any questions.
What does the future look like for your initiative?
We are looking at the possibility of running this campaign year round. We appreciate that people need help all year and not just over the festive period. Discussion will be taking place in upcoming weeks to secure a drop off point beyond Christmas and we are also looking at the possibility of registering as a charity.