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Christmas spirit arrives at West Berkshire Council

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Giving tree to help tackle domestic abuse unveiled

THE spirit of Christmas arrived at West Berkshire Council last Friday after the unveiling of a special Christmas tree.

The Giving Tree, in the reception of the council’s Market Street offices, supports the worldwide White Ribbon Campaign, which aims to eliminate violence against women.

This year, instead of toy donations, contributions of money will help fund trips, experiences and opportunities for families living with domestic abuse in West Berkshire, or in a refuge.

Written on labels on the Giving Tree is the gender and age of a child who has experienced domestic abuse in their life.

To take part, choose a label, put it in an envelope with a donation and hand it to reception.

Alternatively, people may like to fund a treat for one of the mothers, such as a trip to the cinema, a new haircut or toiletries, while local businesses can also donate a voucher.

West Berkshire Council’s executive member for community resilience and partnerships, ​Marcus Franks, said last year’s Giving Tree had proved a great success, with well more than 100 presents donated to the cause.

“The generosity of local people meant that not only did every child received a gift last year, but we have enough to ensure they receive another gift this year,” said Mr Franks.

“Every donation, big or small, can make a huge difference and 100 per cent of the money raised will go towards funding an activity or positive experience for those affected.

“We will continue to work with those families affected by domestic abuse to help them live happy and safe lives.”

Donations can also be made directly to Jim Boden, domestic abuse reduction co-ordinator at West Berkshire Council (07795 224387) or to any member of the Safer Communities Partnership at the council offices in Market Street, Newbury, RG14 5LD.

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