News — Give Kindness


Supporting Wearside Women in Need

With the big day drawing nearer, shoppers at the Galleries Washington are being asked to support local families who have been forced to leave their homes with nothing as an annual giving campaign is launched in partnership with Wearside Women in Need.

Wearside Women in Need rebuild the lives of local families by supporting women and children and helping them live a life from domestic abuse. A Giving Tree in the Shopping Centre is now on display asking shoppers to help families by spreading a little seasonal magic.

The display features cards painted by children from Miss Pearson’s class at Holley Park Academy, Washington and tell the stories of some of the children staying in refuges ran by the charity. The children were asked what Christmas meant to them and what presents they would like.

Shoppers are invited to take a card, read the message and donate either a gift card so a mother can buy something for their child or a present and write a message back to the family with their donation.

David McNee, centre manager at the Galleries, said: “Christmas day is such an exciting time for families but for those supported by Wearside Women in Need, it is further pressure on what is already a stressful time. Shoppers at the Galleries have supported Wearside Women in Need in this way every Christmas for many years and we hope that they will again.

“A gift card that enables a mother to buy something special for their child brings joy to both but also helps to build the confidence of someone who may have had to leave home with nothing.

Wearside Women in Need is a local charity, based in Washington and Sunderland which helps vulnerable children, young people and families in need. The charity offers housing and support for families fleeing domestic violence, as well as community support for women and their children who may need advice and help.

Becky Rogerson, director of Wearside Woman in Need, added: “With domestic abuse on the rise and greater pressures on already stretched services, this time of year is particularly hard for those who we help. One positive is the support from the community that never ceases to amaze us, and we are delighted that the Galleries is once again creating this fantastic display along with the children from Holley Park.

“Alongside the presents for children, we want to be able to help everyone this year and a gift card means that a mam can buy their child a present which means so much to them and helps their confidence or essential items like toiletries and even food.

“We are encouraging people to be as practical as possible when thinking about ‘Giving’ – gifts are a lovely gesture, but we struggle to keep our refuges well equipped and to provide emergency supplies for families in great need with very practical goods such as pyjamas, towels, and the things that we have in our own kitchens such as tea and coffee. Having a shopping voucher to go out and buy essential food and clothing is a really empowering tool, promoting independence and choice.”

“We would like to thank everyone involved in this, it makes an enormous difference.”

The Wearside Women in Need display can be found in Wessington Square until Christmas Eve.

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