Christmas gifts for children at the Oxford Women’s Refuge 

This Christmas, St Matthew’s and All Saints’ are once more supporting the Women’s Refuge in Oxford by providing gifts for mothers to give to their children on Christmas day.
As you might imagine, women and their children tend to flee to the refuge with very few belongings.  So possessions are scarce and spare cash is tight for these families. Unfortunately, domestic violence is particularly prevalent over the Christmas period, as well as during lockdown generally, so the refuge often experiences an influx then.  Having a decent gift to give their child at Christmas can make an enormous difference to these mothers and children. 
The Refuge has children spanning the age range 0-17 years. If you are able to donate a toy that is labelled safe for a young baby or an item that would engage a teenager, that would be very welcome as they are harder to buy for and so tend to be less well catered for.

Some ideas for teenagers are: 

  • Gift vouchers – particularly popular are Argos, Amazon, Game, iTunes
  • Headphones
  • Diary/Journal you can write thoughts in/Hard backed notebook
  • Grooming items e.g. make up (e.g. nail varnish); hair products (e.g. gel, hair clips, hair brushes); shaving set, etc.
  • Things to do e.g. board games (especially any electronic versions e.g. Monopoly with the credit cards); family games such as Twister
  • School bag/plain backpack
  • Handbag/backpack that doesn’t look as though it’s for school
  • Pyjamas (any size aged 13-17)
  • Pants/knickers (any size aged 13-17)
  • Hoodies (any size aged 13-17)
  • Beanie hat (any size aged 13-17) 

Items should be brand new please, not second hand, and not wrapped (NB no wrapping paper donations required either).  Items with violent connotations (e.g. with images of swords, guns, etc) would not be a good idea, for obvious reasons. 
Please drop off your donation either on Saturday 28 November 10am-12 noon at St Matthew’s Church, Harwell, or anytime between Monday 23 and Sunday 29 November to Yew Tree Cottage, High Street Harwell OX11 0EQ or to 1 Manor Close, Chilton OX11 0SS. If no one is at home, there will be a large lidded box where you can leave your donation at the back door of Yew Tree Cottage, Harwell and round the side of the house to the right at 1 Manor Close, Chilton.
If you have any queries, or you would like advice about what to donate, feel free to contact Jane Woolley on Tel 22 10 30 or