A BASINGSTOKE charity is in the chance to win a share of the £20,000 give away which would be used to buy clothing, toys, school uniforms, and Christmas gifts for kids from financially vulnerable families in the town.

Our parent company’s charitable arm, The Gannett Foundation, is providing £125,000 in cash to support local charities across the country and we are delighted to have a £20,000 share to give away in our area.

The Safe, based in Winchester Street at The Top of Town in Basingstoke, is one of the organisations shortlisted to the Gazette’s Cash for Charity programme.

The Basingstoke charity provides baby clothing and equipment for kids up to age two years from families that are financially unable to provide for themselves. The charity also offers support groups for mothers and their pre-schoolers, bereaved parents, lone dads and parents of young people with mental health concerns.

Reacting to the news, The Safe coordinator Ayliffe Taylor said she is massively excited about the opportunity and is hoping that the Gazette readers and Basingstoke readers would help the charity win a big share of the cash.

“We are very grateful to the Gazette,” Ayliff said.

“A lot of people got to know about us when the Gazette published a story about a flood we had at our basement. Although the flood was awful and we lost a lot of resources, we could reach to more people after that. We have had more people coming to our baby store since then. The support from the Gazette has been fantastic.

However, the Safe will need the support of the readers as they are going up against six other charities nominated to our sister titles' editorial teams across Hants and Dorset region.

During November, you are invited to collect tokens printed in our newspapers which can then be sent to collection points across our region or posted.

Each token collected will then be used to allocate cash to the nominated charity – so if The Safe collects 50 per cent of all tokens collected, it will receive 50 per cent of the £20,000.

Ayliff said the money they receive from the Gazette will also be used to improve their resourcing for older children.

“We used to provide clothes, toys and articles up to the age of two. During Covid we extended that because there were so many families in long-term financial crisis during the lockdown. We now provide resources for children up to the age of 10. So one of the things we would like to do is improve our resourcing for older children.

“We also have a school uniform bank. A lot of students have been out of school for an extended period during Covid. We would like to buy more uniforms so that a kid doesn’t have to go to school with a broken pair of shoes, or the right size jumper.”

Ayliff also added The Safe is still not talked much about in Basingstoke because of the type of services they give.

“Because we do post-abortion support it feels like we are like Basingstoke’s dirty little secret,” she said.

“But nobody wants to think about the fact that there are children that don’t have toys to play with or clothes to wear or don’t have nappies or milk that they need.

“I feel that our charity has fallen by the wayside quite a lot.”

The Safe also provides family support services for people who like to keep their pregnancies.

The charity has seven part-time staff, 14 part-time volunteers.

If you would like to support The Safe, get the tokens printed in our newspaper and submit them at:

• WH Smith, Old Basing Mall 5-7 Alencon Link Basingstoke RG21 7AW

• Kempshott Post Office and Stores, 147 Pack Lane Kempshott Basingstoke RG22 5HN

• Watson Way Post Office, 57 Watson Way Basingstoke RG23 8AW

The other charities nominated for the Hants and Dorset area are:

• Amelia's Rainbow

• Communicare in Southampton

• Cornwall Accessible Activities Program

• South Wight Area Youth Partnership

• The Bridge Youth Project

• The Will Macakness Trust