Helping give a happier Christmas to children forced to flee their homes

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A domestic abuse charity is gearing up to make sure Christmas is still fun for youngsters who have been forced to flee their homes.

Options - run by Impact Family Services - has been running its Christmas Present Programme for a number of years.

With children having to leave toys behind, we feel that this is an essential part of the service.

Julie Robinson

The scheme aims to ensure youngsters each receive something from Santa for Christmas through the kindness of donations.

Options manager Julie Robinson said: “We have noticed in this current financial climate more families are struggling and given that a lot of victims are forced to flee their homes and start again with children having to leave toys behind, we feel that this is an essential part of the service.”

This year will also see the departure of CEO of the charity Hazel Hedley as she hands over the reigns to new CEO Nikki Turnbull.

Nikki has spent the last 20 years building experience in the health and social care sector as well as sitting on trustee boards and holding director positions in various charities.

She has worked closely with domestic violence programmes and also has experience in sustaining and growing both businesses and charities.

She said: “I was looking for my next challenge as I was stepping down from my ten year tenure as a board director with Involve North East. My aims for Impact Family Services is to continue the great work that Hazel has been delivering, and that in itself is big shoes to step into.

“Our service users and the needs of the whole family will remain at the heart of everything we do. Starting with the Christmas Present Programme.”