Staff and councillors from Havant Borough Council have once again embraced the season of goodwill by donating more than a hundred presents to children and adults supported by Southern Domestic Abuse Services (SDAS).
Sadly, not every child gets a visit from Santa, but thankfully there’s a team of elves at Havant Borough Council who donate and wrap gifts for those who don’t have any to open.
The “Giving Tree” sees staff and councillors choose gift tags from the Christmas tree with the age and gender of a child. Once a label is taken an appropriate present is bought based on the description and placed underneath the tree.
For many, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year but to some people in the borough it could be just any other day. So, for the first time this year gifts have also been donated for woman who are living in refuges and men in the community who are being supported by SDAS.
The presents, of all shapes and sizes, were collected by Norse South East on Friday morning and delivered to SDAS, ensuring they make it to the children in time for Christmas.
The Southern Domestic Abuse Service provides services to women, children, young people and men who have experiencing domestic abuse in their relationships.
Sandy Hopkins, Chief Executive of Havant Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council, said: “I am so pleased to see the tree brimming with beautifully wrapped gifts from colleagues across the organisation, as ever their generosity is overwhelming and reiterates what I see every day – a team of people completely dedicated to helping those in need across our borough. Sadly, all the evidence shows us that domestic violence increases this time of year. This means some children and families affected may not be able to celebrate Christmas at home. These donated gifts will help bring some festive cheer at a particularly difficult time for the families affected.
“It can be the case that families staying in refuge accommodation have to move quickly leaving belongings and presents at home, so the kindness of our staff and councillors will make a difference this Christmas.
“This is also a time to raise awareness of the support which is available to both men and women who are suffering from domestic violence. There is help at hand for anyone who needs it.”