Women’s Centre seeks donated blankets for winter

Women’s centre coordinator Bridget Farmiloe with some of the items already donated to the Winter Warmer Appeal.

Women’s Centre Rodney has launched a Winter Warmer Appeal to ensure struggling families stay safe and warm this winter.

The public are invited to donate new children’s and adult’s pyjamas, hot water bottles, socks, duvets and blankets to support the appeal.

New and secondhand pre-washed duvets and blankets are also sought. However, secondhand duvets and blankets need to be sealed in a bag or boxed and clearly labelled to comply with Covid-19 restrictions. They are unable to be opened for 72 hours.

Centre manager Colleen Julian says demand for warm winter blankets has always been strong and demand is likely to be even greater this year, due to the economic fall out in the wake of Covid-19.

Colleen says one culprit is the high number of mouldy, cold homes in New Zealand. While landlords might be forced to insulate such homes, things can be more difficult for a homeowner on a modest income and a mortgage.

“You don’t qualify for any support or insulation subsidies or anything,” she says.

Last year, the centre distributed 220 sets of new pyjamas and 439 blankets, some of which were included in more than 100 care packages distributed to low decile schools. Children in difficult circumstances each received socks, pyjamas, a blanket and a hot water bottle.    

“Lots of people are incredibly generous and we manage to pass on some amazing things. If you want to support by buying a packet of socks or a child’s pair of pyjamas – maybe eight or 10 dollars – it’s not a big ask,” Colleen says.   

Beneficiary families are nominated through social service agencies, schools, pre-schools and public health nurses. Donated items are distributed throughout north Rodney and southern Kaipara.  

Donated items can be dropped at the Women’s Centre Rodney, 10 Morpeth Street, Warkworth, between 9.30am and 2.30pm on Monday, Thursday and Friday.

Meanwhile, Wellsford Plunket is holding a Winter Thermal Drive to assist families struggling with the winter chill. Plunket is seeking donations of flannelette pyjamas, thermo or  merino thermals and socks.

All of these items can be found at Postie Plus in Wellsford in sizes ranging from 1 to 5 years. Plunket is also looking for good quality new or secondhand natural fibre blankets. Drop donations at Mike Pero Real Estate in Wellsford from 9am to 4pm on weekdays.  

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