Christmas ‘wish tree’ gets a huge response

South Ribble Borough Council Apprentice Gateway Officer Olivia Hawkins with the Christmas Wish Tree at the Civic Centre in Leyland
South Ribble Borough Council Apprentice Gateway Officer Olivia Hawkins with the Christmas Wish Tree at the Civic Centre in Leyland

People are being given the chance to make the wishes of vulnerable families come true this Christmas, thanks to a charity appeal.

South Ribble Council is backing a Wish Tree Appeal led by Clare House Women’s Refuge to help ensure all children get a gift to open on Christmas Day.

Over the next two weeks, the Civic Centre in West Paddock, Leyland, will proudly display a miniature Christmas tree bearing tags which show a gift idea chosen by a child or adult who has been the victim of domestic abuse.

These families have often had to flee their homes due to domestic abuse, or may be struggling to buy food, heat their homes or pay bills.

People can select a tag, buy the gift and return it unwrapped with the tag. Staff from the refuge will then collect the gifts and distribute them in time for Christmas.

The Wish Tree is up now and people have until noon on December 16 to buy their gift.

Mayor of South Ribble, Councillor Linda Woollard, said: “The tree has been up a mere matter of days and already we have seen a huge response to the appeal, with lots of people taking a tag away and coming back with a gift.”

Clare House Women’s Refuge is run by South Ribble and Chorley Women’s Refuge, which works with hundreds of families across South Ribble and Chorley.

Sarah Bell, Child Support Worker at Clare House, said: “The Wish Tree makes a huge difference and the support is absolutely fantastic.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse you can call the refuge’s 24-hour helpline for free, confidential advice on 01772 435865.