SPAR customers in Burnley and Nelson have been donating chocolate advent calendars for vulnerable children and young people suffering the effects of poverty and domestic abuse.
A total of 554 chocolate advent calendars have been collected from nine SPAR stores across East Lancashire, with staff from each store nominating charities that hold great importance to their local community.
SPAR Nelson in Manchester Road chose Pendle Domestic Violence Initiative, a support service for children and young people who have witnessed or experienced domestic abuse in Pendle.
Offering a helpline, outreach support, safe accommodation and specialist support for children, the organisation offers a vital lifeline to those in crisis.
Joanne Davie, Domestic Abuse Family Support Worker for PDVI said: “We are so grateful for these donations and delighted that SPAR staff chose to support PDVI.
"Children using our services have so much to contend with and the advent calendars will provide a lovely distraction from what’s going on at home. Most of our families have to prioritise their spending and advent calendars will be something that they just can’t afford to buy.”
Gill Leech, area manager for SPAR said: “This is the third year that we have run this initiative and we are always touched by the kindness of and generosity of our SPAR customers; one man in Nelson donated 30 advent calendars and SPAR Nelson collected 252 calendars in one day.
“Our staff love taking part and choosing a charity that is close to their hearts. Collections have been taken in SPAR Accrington; SPAR Barrowford; SPAR Leeds Road; SPAR Nelson (Manchester Road); SPAR Padiham Road; SPAR Pike Hill; SPAR Rawtenstall; SPAR Rochdale and SPAR Todmorden Road.”
SPAR Pike Hill donated 41 chocolate advent calendars to Burnley Boys and Girls' Club, which offers sport, art and craft sessions to children and young people within Burnley. Offering a series of weekly clubs and activities designed to bring communities together and help young people have fun, Burnley Boys and Girls' Club has been running for 120 years.
Rose Hill, senior youth Worker at Burnley Boys and Girls' Club said: “Thank you so much to SPAR and their kind customers. Christmas can be such an expensive time, and we will prioritise giving the calendars to those we know need them most. It will be a real treat for them.”