Time is running out to donate to a festive parcel scheme aiming to help people in need this Christmas.
The Comfort and Joy campaign is being run by Daventry District and South Northamptonshire Community Safety Partnership in a bid to help those who are staying in refuges as a result of experiencing domestic violence.
Its aim is to provide them with a few gifts and treats, as well as food, toiletries and other essential items. It is also hoped the project will raise awareness of refuges as well as the range of additional support services that are available.
The new scheme has received strong support from organisations, businesses, schools and individuals but donations can still be made at reception in the Daventry District Council offices in Lodge Road, Daventry up to and including Friday, December 18.
Parcels for men, women and children as well as Christmas food parcels are being put together and a list of suggested donations can be found at www.daventrydc.gov.uk/CommunitySafety.
All of the items donated will go directly to local people living in refuges in Daventry district and the wider Northamptonshire area this Christmas, as well as to families recently re-homed as a result of domestic abuse.
Toiletries for men and women are needed in particular, though donations of anything on the list of suggested items are still welcome.
The Community Safety Partnership brings together partners including Daventry District Council, South Northamptonshire Council, Northamptonshire Police, Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service, Northamptonshire County Council and Nene Clinical Commissioning Group to reduce crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour within the community.
Domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid, which runs a number of refuges across Northamptonshire, will be helping to distribute the parcels. Ann Bodsworth, joint chief executive of Northamptonshire Women’s Aid, said: “To escape domestic abuse, some people have to leave behind their homes and move into a refuge. Moving into an unfamiliar environment, leaving personal possessions behind and having to share accommodation with others can be a very difficult time.
“Life in refuge is not easy - it’s an alien environment, and many do not know how long they will be there for. Many of those who flee domestic violence do so quickly and as a result will have no personal possessions with them at all.
“Please support this campaign so we can help those who are in need this Christmas.”
The charity warns that incidents of domestic violence increase at Christmas and urges anyone affected to call the 24-hour Women’s Aid helpline on 0845 123 2311 or visit www.northamptonwomensaid.org.uk.