north_tyneside_councilHelping to make sure Christmas is a special time for everyone, North Tyneside Council has launched a new campaign with help from voluntary groups.

Although Christmas is still a few months away, the local authority has joined forces with its partners, voluntary sector organisations, businesses and churches to launch the ‘Make Christmas Special’ campaign.

Together, they’re appealing for people to give a ‘gift with a difference’ by volunteering on Christmas Day, or by donating gifts, wrapping paper or food for hampers ahead of the festive period.

North Tyneside Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn said: “There are so many extremely kind and community-spirited residents in North Tyneside – I’d like to encourage those with any spare time to help with this very worthy campaign.

“There are a number of ways they can do so; we’re appealing for people to help prepare and serve a dinner in a community setting, transport someone to and from a gathering, or simply come along to an event on Christmas Day and have lunch with others.

“We’d also like to hear from anyone who may find themselves alone this Christmas, we’d love for them to come along and enjoy the day with others.”

North Tyneside VODA Chief Executive, Lisa Goodwin added: “VODA is delighted to be able to support this initiative, which we hope will help to ensure that no one in the borough has to spend Christmas on their own.

“Christmas has always been a time of good will, but often people are unsure about what the best way to help might be. It is great to see the council taking on a co-ordinating role in making sure that people who want to help and people who need some support are brought together.”

The council is currently registering the interest of people who would like to help or would like to donate a gift. You can sign up via the council’s website,www.northtyneside.gov.uk, calling (0191) 643 7474 or pick up a form from one of the council’s Customer First Centres.