G&E Murgatroyd, James Hall & Co.’s company owned stores division, has been busy spreading festive cheer throughout East Lancashire in a dedicated Christmas donation drive.

Designed to support vulnerable children and young people, 9 SPAR stores in East Lancashire have been collecting chocolate advent calendars for children suffering the effects of domestic abuse and poverty, and for those living with severe disabilities.

Gillian Leech, Area Manager for G&E Murgatroyd SPAR stores in East Lancashire said: “Staff absolutely love getting behind this initiative, especially in having the chance to select a charity that is close to their store and important to their local community.

“We are always touched by the generosity of SPAR customers and across the 9 SPAR stores taking part, customers have donated a chocolate advent calendar for 554 vulnerable children living in East Lancashire.”

SPAR Nelson (Manchester Road) collected 252 advent calendars in a day, with one kind-hearted customer solely donating 30 calendars, and staff choosing to support PDVI (Pendle Domestic Violent Initiative), a support service for children and young people who have witnessed or experienced domestic abuse in Pendle. Offering a helpline, outreach support, safe accommodation and specialist advice for children, the organisation offers a vital lifeline to those in crisis.

Joanne Davie, Domestic Abuse Family Support Worker for PDVI said: “We are so grateful for these donations and delighted that SPAR staff chose to support PDVI. Children using our services have so much to contend with, the advent calendars will provide a lovely distraction from what’s going on at home. Most of our families have to prioritise their spending and advent calendars will be something that they just can’t afford to buy.”

Donations were collected in SPAR Accrington; SPAR Barrowford; SPAR Leeds Road; SPAR Nelson (Manchester Road); SPAR Padiham Road; SPAR Pike Hill; SPAR Rawtenstall; SPAR Rochdale and SPAR Todmorden Road.”

SPAR Pike Hill donated 41 chocolate advent calendars to Burnley Boys and Girls Club, which offers sport, art and craft sessions to children and young people within Burnley. Offering a series of weekly clubs and activities designed to bring communities together and help young people have fun, Burnley Boys and Girls Club has been running for 120 years.

Rose Hill, Senior Youth Worker at Burnley Boys and Girls Club said: “Thank you so much to SPAR and their kind customers. Christmas can be such an expensive time, and we will prioritise giving the calendars to those we know need them most. It will be a real treat for them.”