Pendle Leisure Trust helping spread festive cheer to those in need

Pendle Leisure Trust staff are helping to spread some festive cheer this Christmas.

By John Deehan
Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 12:30 pm
Paul Whittaker from Pendle Leisure Trust helps to load the van with Lauren Jackson (centre) and Karin Wilson.
Paul Whittaker from Pendle Leisure Trust helps to load the van with Lauren Jackson (centre) and Karin Wilson.

At the request of their colleague – Lauren Jackson, the Muni Theatre’s Events Coordinator – staff at the Trust’s head office in Nelson have donated gifts for women and children at Safenet.

The idea came about when Lauren asked her workmates to buy and donate a Christmas present for a mum or child at their local women’s refuge – within days, nicely wrapped packages began to pour in.

At the same time, Lauren’s friend Karin Wilson had the same idea, but wanted to engage with the local community and the two joined together to create the Facebook appeal ‘Pendle In Our Hearts’ – rolling out the idea to a wider audience.

Sign up to our daily Burnley Express Today newsletter

After just one post on local chat forums Colne Talk and Nelson Now and Then, the group acquired 260 members - and more donations followed.

Lauren said: “Some of the women arrive at the refuges with nothing but a bag of clothes. We have some very kind people in Pendle who jumped at the chance to help them have a better Christmas. 2020 has been a tough year for us all, but particularly for these women and children.

“It has been so heart-warming to see both my work colleagues and the local community being so generous and kind. We received some lovely and thoughtful gifts - around 1,000 in total for both mums and children - which was absolutely overwhelming.”

Pendle Leisure Trust’s Chief Executive, Alison Goode, added: “The staff at head office didn’t need asking twice! We were really happy to help these vulnerable people especially this year.”

The volunteers stored, sorted and wrapped the presents at Pendle Hippodrome Theatre before they were taken to the women’s refuges throughout East Lancashire with the help of Pendle Leisure Trust staff – just in time for Father Christmas!