Chocolate amnesty to save slimmers from unhealthy Christmas gifts

A gift amnesty by slimmers is helping to take away the guilt of giving away unwanted Christmas presents.

Friday, 30th December 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:01 pm
Slimming world consultant Ali Stokes (left) along with Santa Claus, Nichola Maughan and her son Alfie holding items that they would like to be donated as part of their amnesty. Picture by FRANK REID

Slimming World groups across the North East are running a present amnesty to support one of the region’s oldest charities.

The weight loss franchise has teamed up with Children North East which has been supporting families in need for 125 years.

Explaining the idea behind the gift amnesty, Slimming World consultant Ali Stokes, who runs the group in Wheatley Hill, said: “People are always giving each other chocolate and things like that for Christmas that are not necessarily what you want while you are following the plan.

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“The idea was to have an amnesty where people can take away the guilt from themselves by having these things and doing a good turn as well.”

The amnesty is on from now until the end of the first week in January.

Festive food, sweet treats and surplus gifts are wanted.

Slimming World members from groups in Durham and Wearside are supporting the appeal but readers can donate too.

Ali, who lives in Thornley, added: “Consultants of 30 groups in the Durham region are all going to be collecting stuff so we are talking about a lot of people taking part.

“Hopefully, we are going to have a great amount of stuff to hand over to the charity.”

Children North East was founded in Newcastle in 1891 and originally took poor children on a day trip to the seaside to improve their health.

Today, it runs a wide variety of services providing support catered to the needs of the children and helps about 11,500 youngsters every year.

Ali said: “The majority of their work is with young families and children in poverty and people that are struggling financially.

“They are really quite an incredible charity.”

If you would like to contribute to the amnesty, contact Ali for more details on 07815 776106.