Every child in every refuge from domestic violence in the region received a box of toys this Christmas, thanks to Rotary North East.
Thanks to Rotary North East, the boxes contained £80-plus worth of toys for children, many of whom arrive at a refuge with only the clothes they are wearing. They also may be restricted to living in one room with siblings and their mother.
Rotary North East works with the national KidsOut charity which helps disadvantaged children across the UK, whether they have escaped domestic violence or live daily in poverty.
The Rotary North East KidsOut Ambassador, Norman Sellar who is a member of Rotary Consett, said that almost £6,000 was raised in the region, which funded 233 boxes full of brand new toys and games, many of which had been donated.
The toys are age appropriate and are designed to promote social and educational development and family bonding.
Norman, who has been involved with KidsOut for 12 years, said: ‘Christmas is always tough for families in a refuge who are survivors of domestic violence, and this year is set to be harder than usual because of the pandemic. Mothers struggle to provide basic essentials, let alone Christmas presents.
‘The children we support often have very few possessions of their own and these toys will provide comfort, happiness and Christmas joy in difficult times.’
The campaign to ensure every child in every refuge receives a toy box was part of a national effort, supported by Rotary in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Toy boxes were packed by KidsOut and delivered straight to refuges across the country.
Rotary North East District Governor, Barbara Broadbelt, said: ‘It is typically generous of Rotary clubs in the North East who have donated enough money to provide boxes for every child in the region.
‘These toys will help support children’s mental health and make the world seem a little kinder.’
More information can be obtained from www.kidsout.org.uk.
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbours, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe and in its communities. Rotary comprises people from all walks of life, all denominations, all ethnicities and all orientations who are dedicated to aiding it’s community – and having fun doing it.