Funeral directors pledge support for vital Heanor charity

Anthony Topley and Dena Osborne.
Anthony Topley and Dena Osborne.

Gillotts gets set to spread some Christmas cheer with donations for Salcare

A Heanor charity which helps vulnerable people and families in need is set to benefit from some Christmas spirit after it was chosen to receive the proceeds from a local funeral company’s festive fundraiser.

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Gillotts Funeral Directors has pledged to give the money raised through its forthcoming annual Christmas Memorial Tree campaign to Salcare, which supports people across Amber Valley and Erewash.

The firm will raise the money by inviting local families who have lost loved ones over the past 12 months, as well as in years gone by, to come into its office in Abbott Street and hang messages of remembrance on the branches of its Christmas tree.

Families can leave their messages of remembrance on the tree from 6pm on Monday, 2 December, to coincide with Heanor’s Christmas lights switch-on event.

For each message left on the tree, the company will pledge £1 to Salcare, with visitors free to make a donation as well.

Salcare, which is based in Ray Street, is described as a one-stop-shop meeting a wide variety of needs for people who are often referred to the charity by organisations such as the police, domestic abuse services or job centres.

Among the services it offers are free advice, a community kitchen, a food bank, social activities, a low-cost laundry service and a shop selling clothing, furniture and bedding.

Dena Osborne, the charity’s head of strategic services,said: "The money pledged by Gillotts will help fund our Freedom Programme, a series of weekly meetings which offer support and information to the victims of domestic abuse, next year.

Dena added: “We’re a local charity with a small but extremely hard-working team and any donation of this nature makes a significant difference to us, which is why we are delighted to have been chosen by Gillotts.

“There is high demand for services, such as our food bank, and we rely heavily on donations, so every penny counts.

“Our Freedom Programme is an extremely important part of our provision, especially at this time of year, when the stresses of Christmas cause a rise in incidents in domestic abuse and will lead to a spike of people seeking the help and protection they need in the New Year.”

Anthony Topley, a partner in Gillotts Funeral Directors, said: “Our Christmas Tree Memorial event has raised thousands of pounds over the years and has benefited a whole range of worthy charities, big and small.

“We recognise that charities such as Salcare are vital to the welfare and well-being of hundreds of people and families who live in this area and, as a local business, we are proud to be able to support a good cause that does so much to make life more bearable for the more vulnerable members of our community.”

Gillotts has held its Christmas Appeal every year since 2005 and is also raising money at its four other offices, in Eastwood, Kimberley, Selston and Stapleford.

Each office has nominated its own local charity to support and the total amount collected across the five offices will be split equally between all of the chosen good causes.

Last year, Gillotts raised £2,000, which was split equally between the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Blood Bike charities.

The other good causes it is supporting this year are the Eastwood Memory Café, Selston Sunshiners over-50s group, Rumbletums community café in Kimberley and The Helpful Bureau in Stapleford.