A schools group is appealing for money and donations to make Christmas a less difficult time for families than looks like being the case.
The Christ the King (CTK) colleges, a group of Catholic Sixth Forms in south-east London, are appealing to parents, staff and pupils to raise money for charities which help families in difficulties.
One of those is Refuge, which offers homes to family members fleeing domestic abuse. One family it is helping this Christmas suffered physical and psychological abuse at home – the mother and children. The family had moved around a lot and were isolated with no connections to the area.
The family had problems adjusting to the instability but has now become part of a community with all the other women and children in the refuge.
The children have been given new clothes, toys and hobbies like art and crafts, outdoor games and birthday parties. They have had support catching up on their education so they can join schools in their new area, which they have now settled into.
One staff member said: “I have seen just how important and powerful small moments of joy are for the families in the refuges.
The children can form new, positive memories with the refuge community. Many of the mothers can’t treat the children to presents at Christmas, and so being able to brings them great joy. It is also incredibly beneficial for the children to be able to use their imaginations.”
For support, call Refuge’s Freephone 24h National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk to request a safe time to be called back or use the live chat service Mon-Fri, 3-10pm
The CTK group is also launching an online art auction, to buy art work donated by staff and students, with the money raised going to its Christmas Gift Appeal.
Iceland have joined Christmas Gift Appeal by donating 250 advent calendars worth £250 in total.
Hasan Gunduz, Iceland Area Manager Sussex and Kent said: “We know that many people have been affected by the pandemic and are facing hardship and we hope that our donations are able to spread some festive cheer to those in need.”
For details of the Christ the King appeal, go to https://www.ctk.ac.uk/
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