Christmas plea for children

A CHRISTMAS toy appeal is under way for children at Northumberland Women’s Refuge.

Northumberland County Council is urging staff, partner organisation and others to donate toys and money to the centre to help spread festive cheer to youngsters who will be spending Christmas there this year.

Officers in the authority’s public protection service have also organised a sponsored beard growing competition to raise some extra cash.

Council Executive Member for Public Protection Anita Romer said: “We are pleased to be supporting this Christmas appeal once again.

“Often families arrive at the refuge without any possessions as they may have been forced to leave their homes in a hurry.

“Donations of toys and money can help to make Christmas more comfortable for those who will be spending time at the refuge and we would encourage people to contribute if they can.”

The refuge provides nine family units for female victims of domestic abuse and their children.

Anyone seeking advice and support can contact Cease 24, which is a countywide service for men and women victims of domestic abuse, on 01665 606881, visit the website or contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 200 0247, or at