Fill a shoebox this Christmas to help abused women

BIG-NAME BACKING -- Mansfields sidecar-racing star Tom Birchall joins Coun Mick Barton to back the appeal last year.
BIG-NAME BACKING -- Mansfields sidecar-racing star Tom Birchall joins Coun Mick Barton to back the appeal last year.

Women who are victims of abuse in their own homes are to be helped again by Mansfield District Council’s annual Christmas Shoebox Appeal.

The council is backing the national White Ribbon Campaign, which aims to get rid of domestic violence against women and girls.

And it is urging Mansfield people to support the campaign by filling shoeboxes with donations of items that will help those who have been forced to flee their homes after suffering abuse.

Suggested items include toiletries, such as shower gel, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, as well as new underwear, unopened make-up and also slipper socks. Items for children are welcome too, such as soft toys, sweets, crayons and colouring books.

The shoeboxes can be handed in at a ‘Support White Ribbon Day’ event, which is being held at Mansfield Museum on Leeming Street on Friday, December 2, between 10 am and 3 pm.

The event has been organised by the council to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the White Ribbon Campaign. Visitors will get the chance to find out more about the campaign and receive advice and support. There will also be craft activities to keep the children entertained.

Coun Mick Barton, who is the council’s portfolio holder for public protection, said: “We are proud to support the White Ribbon Campaign again this year and hope that people will join us in supporting the message that domestic abuse is not acceptable. We hope people will come forward with donations for the shoebox appeal.

“Donations of practical items such as toothpaste, make-up and even teabags can make all the difference to someone who has fled their home with nothing. When families are escaping from abusive situations, they leave in such a hurry that they’re not able to take the basic items that most of us take for granted.”

All donations of filled shoeboxes will be given to local charities, including Refuge, which supports women who have been victims of domestic violence, NIDAS (Nogttinghamshire Independent Domestic Abuse Services), which has been based in the Mansfield and Ashfield area for many years, and organisations that help to find accommodation for the homeless in Mansfield.

To back both the campaign and the shoebox appeal, the council will also be manning a stall at Mansfield Market on Friday, November 25 between 10 am and 2 pm. To find out more, visit www.mansfield.gov.uk/whiteribbon