This time of year is often difficult for families where domestic abuse is a feature in their lives whether someone is experiencing abuse, has recently left their abusive relationship or is still dealing with the long term impacts on their health and wellbeing. Christmas brings mixed emotions for many, there are pressures and sadness, and many experience loneliness and isolation. The spirit of Christmas as we know it often contradicts the reality in what are challenging times for many families. It’s at Christmas time when we look to our community to come together and this year Teesside certainly has.
Once again we have been inundated with gifts, hampers, goodwill gestures and huge generosity from individuals, groups and businesses across Teesside. It never ceases to be overwhelming and humbling to see the efforts people in Teesside go to for those in need. This year I have been particularly moved by the way in which these donations have been made, with children contributing by spending their pocket money to buy a small gift and classes of children choosing to buy presents for women and children who are supported by our service to large corporate companies who have gone above and beyond to give families a good Christmas.
‘Real generosity is doing something for someone who will never find out’.
I saw this quote online and it embodies everything we have seen in our service this week. There are so many people on Teesside who have given generously for the benefit of others they will never meet or know and the families receiving these gifts will never know who put the time, care and attention into buying the gift, they won’t have an opportunity to thank those individuals directly and we are privileged as a service to be able to facilitate this generosity.
I end this year and the decade with a sense of optimism and contemplation of how I might pay it forward in the coming year. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and best wishes for 2020