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Toy donations bring festive cheer to children in South Wales refuges

Last year’s Giving Tree at at Barratt & David Wilson Homes offices

This December, companies are being encouraged to swap the office ‘secret Santa’ for toy donations to KidsOut — the charity helping to bring joy to children in domestic violence refuges across South Wales and the UK.

Between April and May this year, KidsOut delivered over 100 boxes of brand-new toys up to the value of £100 to children in women’s refuges in South Wales, bringing fun and relief at the height of lockdown.

But it hasn’t been easy. With nearly half of donations made to KidsOut coming from corporate fundraisers each year, the charity has lost around £800k from postponed or cancelled events since March.

As Christmas fast approaches, 15,000 – 20,000 toy boxes are now needed in refuges across the UK. KidsOut is urging people to donate a toy via their online ‘Giving Tree’ shop to reach as many disadvantaged children as possible this Christmas.

Barratt & David Wilson Homes South Wales is one company swapping the office ‘secret Santa’ for toys gifted via KidsOut’s Giving Tree. Food vouchers can also be donated to families who are too scared to leave their refuge, therefore missing out on school meal vouchers and food banks’ services.

Domestic violence has soared during the coronavirus pandemic. One call relating to domestic abuse was made to police every thirty seconds in the first seven weeks of lockdown earlier this year, with thousands of children locked down and isolated with an abuser. Many more families are expected to enter refuge in South Wales by Christmas Day.

KidsOut Chief Executive, Gordon Moulds CBE DL, said: “Christmas is always tough for families living in women’s refuges, with Covid-19 making this year harder than usual. Support for our Giving Tree appeal from organisations like Barratt Homes South Wales has therefore never been more needed.

“Receiving toys to call their own can make a massive difference to the lives of survivors of domestic violence, helping to improve mental health and make the world seem a little kinder. Together, we can bring fun and happiness to children in local refuge homes this Christmas.”

David Kelland, Ambassador for KidsOut and Commercial Director for Barratt and David Wilson Homes South Wales added: “This will be our eighth year partnering with KidsOut as a company, and although we’re unable to go ahead with our annual charity event at this time, we will continue to support KidsOut’s crucial work via the Giving Tree initiative and its Virtual Festive Celebration.

“The charity sector is experiencing an increase in demand for its services at a time when there has been a significant decrease in income, making our charitable donations more important than ever before.”