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Can you give 'The Gift' this Christmas?

29 November 2019

Your time and generosity could help make this festive season a little brighter for those less fortunate in the Borough.

Image of Stockton Sparkles programme christmas tree

The Gift offers people the chance to give their time and some much-needed presents to help people in need.

What is The Gift?

Returning for a third year, this touching community initiative is part of the Stockton Sparkles festival programme.

The call is going out for donations of useful gifts or your time to help us wrap them into hampers, write Christmas cards and design festive decorations.

An amazing 230 gift hampers were put together by generous volunteers and we're hopeful of surpassing that this year!

What items are you looking for?

  • Toiletry sets
  • Sanitary products
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Gift sets
  • Lip balms
  • Hand creams
  • Socks and slippers
  • Hats, scarves and gloves
  • Hairbrushes and accessories
  • Alarm clocks
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • Chocolates, biscuits and sweets

How do I get involved?

You can donate gifts at any of these three drop-off points:

  • Rediscover Stockton, 134b Stockton High Street
  • Billingham Community Centre, TS23 2DA
  • Durham University, Wolfson Research Institute, TS17 6BH

Or you can bring them along to The Gift event itself on Saturday 14 December between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

Taking place in the shop unit next to Sally Beauty at Wellington Square in Stockton, there'll be plenty of activity and craft tables to help with gift wrapping, writing cards, designing decorations and more.

There'll be festive entertainment and Christmas carols to get you in the mood and, in exchange for your donation, we'll even provide the tea, coffee and mince pies!

And for an extra treat - even Father Christmas himself will be making an appearance alongside the Mayor of Stockton-on-Tees, Councillor Lynn Hall.

Are you a member of any group - be it community, school, youth, church or other - that would like to volunteer as part of this special event?

Groups of ten or more people are warmly invited to call 01642 527389 or email to book their time slot.

Who will receive the gifts?

All gifts will be gratefully received by members of the community this Christmas.

They will be distributed to young people in the Borough who are leaving care, the Moses Project charity which supports adults affected by drug and alcohol misuse and the NeoAngels charity which supports families of sick and premature babies.

Why should I take part?

Reuben Kench, Director of Culture, Leisure and Events for Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, said: "We're really pleased to be able to organise The Gift again this year, helping us all give a little extra to those less fortunate members of our communities.

"The event has been very successful in the past so I'd like to ask people to give their support again by sparing some time or giving generously - or both!

"There'll be a real festive feeling on 14 December when people get together to fill the hampers, but if you can't make it on the day - please think about buying an extra present this year handing it in at one of our three drop-off locations beforehand.

"The gifts received will make a real difference this Christmas to people in need."

Where can I get more information?

For the full lowdown on The Gift and all things Stockton Sparkles, visit Sports and leisure