Warm-hearted residents can offer some cheer to people in need this Christmas by donating items to a festive parcel scheme.

The annual Comfort and Joy campaign helps those who are staying in refuges as a result of experiencing domestic abuse, as well as other vulnerable families who are struggling at Christmas.

Jointly organised by the Daventry District and South Northamptonshire Community Safety Partnership and the Daventry District Forum, its aim is to provide them with a few gifts and treats, as well as food, toiletries and other essential items.

The project also raises awareness of domestic abuse, incidents of which tend to increase over the Christmas period.

Parcels for men, women and children as well as Christmas food parcels are being put together and a list of suggested donations can be found at www.daventrydc.gov.uk/CommunitySafety

Donations can be made at the Daventry District Council offices, in Lodge Road, Daventry, at Daventry Police Station, in New Street, at Daventry Fire Station, in Staverton Road and at the South Northamptonshire Council offices at The Forum, Moat Lane, Towcester, up to and including Tuesday 17 December.

All of the items donated will go directly to local people living in refuges as well as other vulnerable families in Daventry District, South Northamptonshire and the wider county area this Christmas.

The Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service, which runs a number of refuges across Northamptonshire, will once again be helping to distribute the parcels.

Anyone who is experiencing domestic violence is urged to call the Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service 24-hour helpline on 0300 0120154 or visit www.ndas.co

People can also access support at domesticviolenceuk.org, a not-for-profit organisation which is trying to raise awareness of domestic and emotional abuse through its Love Doesn’t Hurt campaign at lovedoesnthurt.org

Suggested donations

Comfort donations

  • Soap
  • Body Wash
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Deodorant
  • Sanitary products
  • Nappies and wipes
  • Toothbrush/paste for adults and children

Joy donations

  • Perfume/aftershave
  • Hats and scarves
  • Make-up
  • Toys
  • Books
  • Arts and crafts

Food donations

  • Mince pies
  • Tea and coffee
  • Chocolates
  • Cereal
  • Dry pasta
  • Baby food