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Saturday, 16 January 2021

CHARITY TODAY TV

Charity urges people to support local causes and businesses this Christmas

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A Northumberland based mental health and learning disability charity is urging people to support local businesses and charities in the lead up to Christmas.

Despite continued challenges, staff and service users from Blyth Star Enterprises have been blown away by the community spirit they’ve witnessed throughout 2020.

The team, who provide care, day services, living and work support to over 300 people, are urging communities to continue supporting their local businesses and causes. Especially as the second national lockdown begins to ease, purchasing a gift or service from a local SME or charity could help aid their recovery.

Blyth Star Enterprises had to close its day services; Lionhearts and The Steamboat, and assisted workplaces; Stakeford Nurseries and The Woodfuel Centre to all service users during the first lockdown. Much to the charities’ relief, services have remained open to both staff and service users throughout the second national lockdown.

Stakeford Nurseries started to prepare handmade winter wreaths last month, as a much-needed distraction from the current pandemic. The wreaths are a reoccurring focus for the nurseries and are included as part of in-house training. The team is able to ensure that service users can get involved with the process, no matter their ability. Wreaths are available to purchase from Stakeford Nurseries each winter. All funds raised are reinvested back into the charity and its services.

Service users at The Woodfuel Centre, which is the only charity in Northumberland offering ‘Ready to Burn’ certified logs, have been working hard at preparing winter stock and like the nurseries, all funds made through purchases are reinvested.

CEO, Gordon Moore MBE, explained:

“This year has been incredibly challenging for us all. Our work focuses on rehabilitating people with learning disabilities and/or long-term mental ill-health back into their surrounding communities by the provision of someone to care, somewhere to work and somewhere to live.

“The working and social elements provided by our day services and assisted workplaces helps us to build structure and routine into people’s lives and lockdown disrupted this massively. We got through It, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our staff and the support from our local community. We’ve been fortunate enough to witness some truly humbling acts and are surrounded by a community who actively want to help each other out.

“In the lead up to Christmas and as businesses across Northumberland start to look ahead to reopening and what 2021 could bring, I’m hopeful that people will continue to support and shop locally.

“When you shop at and support local causes and companies, you’re investing money and time into your community and neighbours. We really do appreciate everyone who supports and shops with us and I know this is true for other business and charity owners across the North East.”

For those wishing to support Blyth Star Enterprises, wreaths are on sale at Stakeford Nurseries, East View, Stakeford, Choppington, NE62 5TR. The site is open for purchases and strict Covid-19 measures are in place. A maximum of 5 visitors are allowed on-site at any given time, facemasks/coverings must be worn and hands sanitised on entry and departure. Track and trace is also in place.

Please see Stakeford Nurseries’ Facebook page @StakefordNurseries for the latest updates and guidance on visiting or call: 01670 855130. Alternatively, orders and requests can be made over the phone and delivery may be organised depending upon location.

Woodfuel supplies including coffee logs, kindling and softwood are on sale at The Woodfuel Centre, 7 Sleekburn Business Centre, Bedlington, NE22 7DD. As above, the site is open for purchases but under strict Covid-19 measures. Orders may also be taken over the phone and delivery is available. Call: 01670 857138 for more information.

To learn more about Blyth Star Enterprises please visit: https://blythstar.org.uk/.

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