A very special ‘thank you’ to the CWU

Union Matters

Women and children staying at a refuge in York have sent a “heart-warming” card to the CWU North East Women’s Committee thanking them for the Christmas presents they donated to them.

The festive season’s edition of The Voice reported that Jean Sharrocks, the union’s Women’s Advisory Committee chair, had played Mother Christmas when she delivered dozens of gifts to the facility just before Christmas.

After voting the refuge a £300 donation, North East Women’s Committee members decided to use the money to buy a range of toys for the youngsters and treats for their mums, with the hope of bringing them all some seasonal cheer.

Remote-control cars, toy motorbikes, ‘pop-up’ houses and dinosaurs were among the surprises unwrapped early on Christmas morning and the happy recipients sent their own message back to the union to show their appreciation

The gifts “helped make the magic of Santa and Christmas very special,” wrote two young girls, while a couple of boys described the festive surprises as “amazing” and other happy youngsters told the CWU that the gesture had created some “great memories” and Christmas 2017 had been “a fab one.”

In a more formal message, staff at York Women’s Aid expressed their thanks for the “thoughtfulness and kindness” and wrote: “Your generous gifts made a real difference to our women and children and brought them real joy.

“This can be a very difficult time for the families as they have often had to leave their home towns and are unable to return to see relatives and friends over the festive period – and they have also had to leave their belongings, clothes, toys and personal items, and usually they are never able to reclaim them.”

Jean Sharrocks said that it was “heart-warming” to see the happiness that the donations had brought to everyone.

“Our members are very pleased to be able to help and we hope that we can do more to assist the fantastic work of this refuge and others in the future

  • The centre is run by the Independent Domestic Abuse Services (IDAS) charity, which began life as York Women’s Aid run by volunteers in a two-bedroom flat in the city over 40 years ago. 
  • As well as refuges, IDAS also offers a range of services – including a 24-hour helpline and Live Chat – across Yorkshire and for the past 10 years, this has also included providing help to male victims of abuse.
  • More information about the work of IDAS here: https://www.idas.org.uk/