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Do your bit for people in need at Stockton Sparkles

30 November 2018

Can you spare some hats, hand cream or hairbrushes this Christmas? Visitors to Stockton town centre can do their bit to help people in need thanks the return of a special Stockton Sparkles event called The Gift.

Image of Stockton sparkles gift baskets

What is The Gift?

The Gift is a touching community initiative which launched at Stockton Sparkles winter festival last night (Thursday, 29 November).

It gives people the chance to donate gifts, give their time to wrap presents and write Christmas cards - which will all be given to those less fortunate.

It's the second year that The Gift will be part of the packed programme of events and activities.

How can I take part?

You can bring your donations to our High Street marquee between 10am and 3.30pm on Saturday 15 December.

There'll be plenty of activities and crafts for volunteers to get involved in, such as gift wrapping, making hampers, writing Christmas cards and creating decorations. There will also be a range of festive entertainment and Christmas carols to enjoy at the marquee.

Groups of five people or more wishing to volunteer should call 01642 527389 or email to book a time slot.

What kind of items should I donate?

The items most needed are:

  • Toiletry sets
  • Sanitary products
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Lip balm
  • Hand cream
  • Socks and slippers
  • Hats, scarves and gloves
  • Hairbrushes / accessories
  • Alarm clocks
  • Chocolates, biscuits or sweets
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes

Unfortunately gifts that do not appear on this list cannot be accepted. Please donate items which are in new condition.

Who will receive the gifts?

All of the gifts received will be given to members of the community for Christmas. They will be distributed to three groups:

Young people in the Borough who are leaving care, The Moses Project charity which supports adults affected by drug and alcohol misuse, and The Mary Thompson fund which is one of the Mayor's chosen charities this year. It provides critical and emergency support for refugees and asylum seekers.

Why should people take part in The Gift?

Councillor Norma Wilburn, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, said: "We're really pleased to bring The Gift back to Stockton Sparkles this year and we'd like to ask people to show their support again by sparing some time and giving generously. These basic items will make a huge difference to people facing difficult circumstances this Christmas.

"The High Street marquee will be bustling with activity on 15 December and there will be plenty more to help with such as writing cards and making gift hampers, but if you can't make it along, you can donate at several other locations including the Rediscover Stockton shop on Stockton High Street."

Can't make it to The Gift event but still want to donate?

Donation points are also open across the Borough at the following locations until Thursday, 13 December:

  • Rediscover Stockton shop, 134b Stockton High Street
  • Cowpen Lane Depot, Billingham
  • Durham University Queen's Campus, Stockton
  • Billingham Community Centre, The Causeway

You can also drop off donations at these Council buildings from 12noon to 1pm on the following days:

  • Municipal Buildings - Mondays, 3 and 10 December
  • Kingsway House - Wednesdays, 5 and 12 December
  • Bayheath House - Thursdays, 6 and 13 December

And at the Borough's town centre libraries from 9.30am - 11am:

  • Stockton Central Library - Monday, 10 December
  • Billingham Library - Wednesday, 12 December
  • Thornaby Library - Thursday, 13 December