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BOX OF DELIGHTS

Posted on 10 May 2007  - 12:00

Fresh from signing an extended contract, Michael Dawson is spearheading KidsOut’s Box of Delights Appeal, a national campaign that seeks to provide fun and happiness for children who are affected by domestic violence in the UK.

Fresh from signing an extended contract, Michael Dawson is spearheading KidsOut’s Box of Delights Appeal, a national campaign that seeks to provide fun and happiness for children who are affected by domestic violence in the UK.

Kidsout is one of Tottenham Hotspur’s nominated charities. Its Box of Delights 'toy box scheme will work with the Women's Aid Federations of England and Northern Ireland to help alleviate the feelings of deprivation, loneliness and anxiety experienced by children when they are re-housed as a result of domestic violence by providing a box of brand new toys upon their arrival at a new, safe, home.

Two women every week are killed in Britain as a result of domestic violence and as many as half of all abusive relationships occur when children are present.*

“The effect on children who witness domestic violence will affect them forever but we’re happy to be able to support such a remarkable project as it really can make such a difference to a child’s life,” said Michael.

MICHAEL SIGNS NEW DEAL

In Britain alone, it is estimated that over 600,000 children will witness repeated violence in the home, every year. Of these, some 23,000 will be taken to live in a women’s refuge seeking shelter from the harmful and potentially fatal circumstances in which they are living.

“I was lucky to have a happy and caring family, something every child deserves,” continued the central defender. “Sadly for some it’s a very different story. When these children leave home, they leave with nothing sometimes not much more than the clothes they stand up in. The Box of Delights appeal is an amazing project and one that the Club fully-supports.”

The charity’s Chief Executive, Emma Sambrook, added: “We acknowledge that we can’t change what has happened to these children. But we can work to help change the way they feel, by giving them something to smile about at what is an extremely vulnerable and anxious time. By providing something special, we can help make them feel special, and to help make it a brighter time for them, at a time when they need it most.”

The contents of the toy boxes are specifically chosen for the age and gender of the child and include only brand new toys that help make them feel special, and that can help build their imaginations, as they re-build their lives.

As well as raising awareness of the effects of domestic violence on children, the KidsOut appeal aims to raise £1.5 million over the next two years to enable the charity to fulfil its mission of providing toy boxes to an estimated 7,000 UK children every year.

Typically, a KidsOut Box of Delights costs around £100. “Just £100 can change the way a child feels,” says Dawson. “Any financial contribution people can make will be helping to rebuild a disillusioned life and really make a difference.”

For more information about KidsOut, its Box of Delights toy box appeal and how to make a donation please visit www.KidsOut.org.uk; e-mail appeal@KidsOut.org.uk

For more information about domestic violence and the impact on children visit www.womensaid.org.uk