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Saving Mothers and Children

Rotary clubs urged to support Christmas toy box scheme for domestic violence victims

Rotary clubs urged to support Christmas toy box scheme for domestic violence victims

Covid has put paid to the traditional Rotary KidsOut organised at this time every year. But in its place, organisers have set up a new initiative to support local refuges and provide children who have fled domestic violence with a brand new box of toys.

The first national Rotary KidsOut Day took place in 1990 and since then it has turned into the biggest single outing for disadvantaged children in the UK.

Rotary clubs across Great Britain & Ireland have helped to fund the transportation and days out for youngsters to a variety of theme parks and tourist attractions.

With more than 28,000 children participating in 2019, the National Day Out is run nationally in conjunction with Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland and is always held in June and December.

However, the pandemic has put paid to this year’s efforts, but organisers have come up with something different.

In its place, a new Rotary KidsOut initiative has been conjured up to support refuges in communities, supporting children who have fled domestic violence.

With assistance and data provided by KidsOut, the aim is to supply local refuges with Rotary Christmas toy boxes.

Every day, KidsOut is supporting refuges across Great Britain and Ireland. It has a comprehensive database of all refuge locations, with details of the number of families and children being accommodated.

A new Rotary KidsOut initiative has been conjured up to support refuges in communities, supporting children who have fled domestic violence.”

KidsOut has said it will supply toy boxes directly to local refuges. Each box will be packed with gifts according to age and gender, containing more than £80 of new toys.

And every Rotary Christmas Toy Box will be delivered to the refuges in December free of charge. All of the boxes will have Rotary branding with the supporting Rotary club’s name.

Steve Cartwright from Cannock Rotary, who is the Rotary GB&I KidsOut Co-ordinator, as well as serving as a trustee, said if clubs were interested in getting involved, they should get in touch.

He said: “Christmas is always tough for families in refuge, with this year set to be harder than usual. Most children arrive at refuge with only the clothes on their back, restricted to a single room with their mother and siblings.

“Mothers struggle to provide basic essentials, let alone toys for their children at Christmas.

“Using data supplied by KidsOut, to help identify your local refuge, we can also advise on the number of children by gender and age.

Christmas is always tough for families in refuge, with this year set to be harder than usual.”

“Obviously, there is a need to maintain confidentiality, therefore there is no need for your club to have any direct contact with the refuge.

“The KidsOut data will identify the number of children in your local refuge, in order to provide a Rotary Christmas Toy Box. We are asking clubs to considering sponsoring toy boxes for £25 for each child at each refuge.”

One refuge support worker, who wished to remain anonymous, acknowledged the support which Rotary was planning to provide the children.

We are asking clubs to considering sponsoring toy boxes for £25 for each child at each refuge.”

“Refuge life can be difficult, especially for families, and the added pressure for parents to ensure their children have presents to open on Christmas morning causes a lot of stress and upset for our mums – especially if finances are tight,” she said.

“However, your toys mean we can provide our amazing families with the opportunity to have a lovely Christmas Day. Please know your toys will be put towards making a child smile this Christmas.” 

For more information, log onto:  www.kidsout.org.uk/forms/rotary-christmas-box/ where you can also register your Rotary club’s interest with getting involved.