Darlington supermarket, Christmas call for women’s shelter

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SAINSBURY’s Local on Duke Street in Darlington has launched a Christmas gift call to support the Family Help Darlington CIO, a women’s shelter.

Family Help Darlington CIO is a shelter for women and children in Darlington and the team cares for those fleeing domestic violence, the threat of violence or any other danger.

Staff at Sainsbury’s Duke Street have set up a collection point in the store for shoppers to donate small gifts such as children’s toys and toiletries.

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Jo Robinson of Sainsbury’s Duke Street said: “We wanted to support a local charity and although it’s been a tough year for everyone, it will be the most difficult for people who need help from Family Help Darlington (CIO).

Northern Echo:

“It seemed like a worthy cause, and as Christmas approached, we thought it would be a good thing to do as a community effort.

“The staff liked the idea, so we set up a small collection point in the shop.”

Anna Caygill, CIO, Family Help Darlington said: “Although we are the only refuge of this kind in Darlington, people come to us from all over the UK, so donations from people would be greatly appreciated.

“People who use our service are fleeing domestic violence and often come home with nothing, so it’s nice to be able to give the women some toiletry or cosmetic kits and the kids cute toys or games, just to lift their spirits.”

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Secondhand donations are not acceptable due to Covid and health and safety, but Anna has made it clear that any donation, big or small, will make a huge difference.

“There’s no such thing as too many donations because they’re not just for Christmas, we can use them on birthdays and when people first come to the shelter. These are people who have been through a very difficult time and we encourage donations if a small gift can help them.

“We want the people who use our sanctuary to feel at home, and if a little gift can help, then we want to provide it to them. We want people to feel as welcome and comfortable as possible.”

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