A charity in South Tyneside is appealing for donations of winter clothing as it bids to help those worse off this Christmas.
Compact for Race Equality in South Tyneside (CREST) is working with refugees and asylum seekers as part of a ‘mentor a mum’ project.
Volunteers from the charity are helping new arrivals into the borough integrate into life in South Tyneside, and are particularly supporting women with young children.
With many of the families currently without warm clothing, the charity is hoping people will come forward to make donations this winter.
Volunteer Stacey Reburn said: “A lot of them don’t have socks, shoes or coats, and with the weather getting colder, they desperately need them.
“We’re especially short of children’s clothing, from age three to 13.
“Even some of the mums don’t have winter clothes.
“Some of them have got refugee status, and some are in between with no money at all.
“They came here with nothing, and some of them aren’t even aware of how cold it is going to get over the winter.
“We’re just trying to help them in any way we can.”
Each mum has been assigned a volunteer mentor, who is helping them integrate into life in South Tyneside, from advising them on where to shop to overcoming the language barrier.
The families hail from countries including Iran, Iraq, Spain and Syria, and they regularly meet with the volunteers at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on Temple Park Road, South Shields.
Stacey added: “One woman who comes along can’t afford to put her heating on, and has no winter clothing either.
“Sometimes they are very proud and won’t accept money, so rather than ask for monetary donations, we’re asking for clothing.
“We want to raise awareness and try to help them.”
The charity – which promotes racial equality and assists people to enjoy a better quality of life – is based at Waverley Business Park, in Market Dock, South Shields, where donations can be made.
For more information, call CREST on 0191 427 6611.