A CARE service which supports Barnsley adults with brain injuries will bring cheer to children in domestic violence-related refuges this festive season by making sure they receive a present.

Cygnet Hospital’s Pindar House and Cygnet Oaks venues invited firms and individuals to follow suit by ditching their ‘secret Santa’ ideas and instead buy toys for children who are in need.

The recipients are local children who have escaped domestic violence, being forced to flee their homes quickly and leave all possessions behind.

Clinical care manager Amy Leiter said: “Many of the staff involved in donating have young children, nieces and nephews.

“We all understand the importance of the magic of Christmas, and the thought of any child waking up Christmas day without a single gift was very upsetting.

“By donating we can make a child smile and share the magic of Christmas.”

Pindar House, on Upper Sheffield Road, is a 22-bed neuropsychiatric care and treatment service for men affected by acquired brain injuries and progressive neurological diseases like Huntington’s disease.

Its neighbouring facility, Cygnet Oaks, is a 35-bed hospital specialising in high-dependency inpatient rehabilitation for men.

After a child is referred to children’s social care services, an assessment is carried out to identify the primary need for services.

Some factors identified in assessments in Barnsley included domestic abuse concerns where the parent is a victim - 13 per cent - and mental health concerns about the parent at ten per cent.

Figures from the Department for Education show there were 1,696 children assessed as needing help and protection because of risks to their development or health in Barnsley this year - up from 1,652 the year before.

Children in need include young people aged 18 or over who continue to receive care, accommodation or support from children’s services.

The rate of children in need in Barnsley was 339 per 10,000 children, below England’s overall rate of 343 per 10,000.

“The feeling of making a difference was so very strong that more giving tree labels needed to be ordered as people wanted to donate more,” Amy added.

“People have felt a very strong sense of pride in donating the toys.

“They felt proud of each other efforts and it has reinforced the already strong bond we have at Pindar House and Cygnet Oaks.

“Being in a caring profession has enabled people to use the same kindness to make a difference to children this Christmas.”