So, it’s that time of year again where we start to think about Christmas.
Whilst Christmas is supposed to be a time of family, fun and love, for many people it brings additional stresses due to financial restraints and other issues.
Hartlepool is in the top 10% most deprived local authority areas in the country with high levels of unemployment and income deprivation.
This year Pools, along with HUCSF, have chosen a number of local groups to support and are asking for your assistance too as we know what a fantastic community spirit there is.
In the run up to Christmas we will be opening up The Vic as a drop off spot for donations for the following fantastic local services:
Hartlepool Young Carers
You have probably heard quite a bit about this group over the past six months, as it is a Charity that HUCSF are proud to be partnered with.
Christmas can be a challenging time for young people who care for a family member. Instead of relaxing with relatives and friends, young carers often face additional pressures during the festive break, taking on even more responsibilities than usual and missing out on the usual celebrations and gifts.
There are 174 children and young people currently registered with Hartlepool Carers: 109, 12-17 year olds and 65, under 11.
We are asking if when you are buying gifts for your loved ones, you could please maybe pop an extra item in your basket. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, you don’t even have to buy something if you have a suitable unused item at home you could re-gift.
We will then make sure that these are passed onto children and young people who otherwise may not receive gifts this year. Please wrap your parcel and mark it clearly with the gender and age range it is intended for. Advent calendars would also be gratefully received.
Hartlepool Baby Bank
Hartlepool Baby Bank is a non-profit organisation based in Hartlepool and is a source of support and baby essentials for families in need. Families can be referred by health visitors or social services or simply pop along and see the volunteers.
They will then put together a ‘wish list’ based on how old the child is, the family’s needs and their financial situation and then put together a level of support suitable for each individual. In return, they ask for a small donation, but if a monetary donation is not an option don’t worry, as you can volunteer or donate your own old equipment/clothes in return.
Every Tuesday from 11am-1pm at Burbank Street and Thursdays 10-12 at the Changing Futures Building on Abbey Street (Headland), they open up the doors as a safe space for mums and dads to come and socialise and seek advice and support and also provide training such as first aid.
They are able to take donations all baby equipment except for car seats and cot bumpers to pass on to families in the town. This includes (but is not limited to) nappies and wipes, pushchairs, Moses baskets and clothes for the under 4s. Hartlepool is one of the top 10% towns in the country for deprivation affecting children and so the need for such a service is huge.
For more information on this fantastic service contact firstname.lastname@example.org, check out Baby Bank Hartlepool on Facebook or contact Emilie on 07717 337719.
As usual, Pools continue to support and promote the work of the local Foodbank, as well as linking up with HUST for our annual collection day.
In addition to the usual food donations, we will be supporting Hartlepool youngster Benji Cooper with his advent calendar appeal.
We met Benji at the Gazette Community Champion Awards last November. For the past two years, Benji has arranged donations of advent calendars for children whose parents use foodbanks, starting with him donating his pocket money to buy them personally, and this year he also collected Easter Eggs with his friend Scarlett.
This year, along with his friends Scarlett Mason and Finlay Booth (all aged 9) Ben is wanting to go bigger and better with thanks to HUFC.
Benji Cooper said; “We are all really lucky and we know some other children don’t get as much as we do so we want to try to do something to help.
“We love our advent calendars in December and want all children to have one.
“Christmas is about thinking of others and this is one way we can do that – especially if other people help. Donating just one advent calendar can really make a difference.”
With young people like this in the town, we know the community is in safe hands in the future!
We have collection points both in main reception and the Club Shop for you to drop in your donations.