Two North-East charity and volunteer groups have joined forces to make sure struggling families across Middlesbrough do not miss out this Christmas.
Safe Families for Children, which supports children and families going through a crisis and Tickle The Tastebuds lunch club, which provides over 1,000 hot meals for vulnerable people each year, have put together an extra special treat this Christmas to help struggling families this festive period.
Tickle the Tastebuds are anticipating a surge in demand for their services this winter, as an increasing number of families find themselves in personal or financial difficulties at this time of year.
To help out more of those in need, the two charities have put together a Christmas hamper initiative and invited members of the community to donate food and toys to be included within hampers.
Since the hamper initiative started two years ago, the scheme has grown significantly, with the groups receiving more than ten times the number of donations this year. These donations will mean over 100 children and 50 different families will receive toys and food through the scheme this Christmas, but the charities warn this is the tip of the iceberg and more families need support.
One member of a family in need that was helped by the scheme last Christmas is Kelly from Middlesbrough:
“The hamper that I received last year really helped us out. I was really struggling with money. If it wasn’t for Safe Families, we would not have had anything.”
Hampers will be filled to the brim to last families one month and include items of warm clothing, toiletries, children’s toys, food vouchers, Christmas dinner and Christmas crackers.
Sir Peter Vardy, who launched Safe Families for Children on Tyneside, says: “Christmas is a wonderful time of year for many, but for others it is a time of increased financial pressure. That’s why we’re absolutely delighted to be able to link some of the vulnerable families we support at Safe Families for Children with the resources and goodwill of the community around them.
“The support from individuals, families and businesses across the region has been fantastic. Thanks to their generosity, we have been able to provide dozens of struggling families with essential and goodie-packed Christmas hampers. A huge thanks to all those donating needed canned foods and children’s presents and to Tickle the Tastebuds team.”