We are once again supporting Alive UK, a local charity which aims to provide emergency support for people in crisis in Norfolk, with a Christmas gifts and treats appeal for local children and their caregivers. The Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News are also partnering with us on the appeal.
Last year the appeal helped over 700 local children to receive a present, who wouldn’t have otherwise received one. People can donate unwrapped gifts, toys or chocolate treats, such as selection boxes, at a collection point on the lower ground floor of Chantry Place, opposite Boots, from now until Sunday 17th December 2023.
All gifts will be given to families in desperate need in Norfolk and all donations of new gifts are welcome for all ages, including babies, toys for children, presents for teenagers, or those that care for them.
Jo Thorne, chair of trustees, and pastor of Alive Church said: “Many of us are finding things difficult financially, but having to choose between heating, food or debt repayment, plus the added pressure of guilt and sadness if you are unable to give a gift to your child, is immense. More and more people are struggling with these everyday choices and the cost of living situation has made it worse again this year. Last year’s appeal was a huge success and we were able to make such an incredible difference to these families, which is why we wanted to launch the appeal again with the help of Chantry Place. People who donate really are helping give families a magical Christmas and we hope to support hundreds of families again this year.”
Jo Bates, operations manager at Chantry Place, said: “Alive UK is a charity supporting the community with its incredible volunteers working so hard to care and give hope to families in Norfolk. We saw what a difference this appeal made last year to struggling families and we had to do it again this year to spread some joy at this time of year and put some smiles on the faces of families. All donations of gifts need to be new items and Alive volunteers deliver the unwrapped gifts and wrapping paper to care givers of the children so that they can enjoy wrapping the gifts themselves to give to their children.”
One mum who received gifts from the appeal last year said: “When I closed the door behind me, I stood in the sitting room in silence for about 10 minutes before the tears started pouring down my face. I don’t think I was breathing at this point. I’m not sure I’d allowed myself to cry in forever. I was awake every night worrying about how I would explain to our babies that Santa was so busy looking after families that needed help that he didn’t think they would mind not having anything. I’d got a big branch from the woods that I made into a Christmas tree and we had decorated it with some random items. The kids loved it. We’d decorated the house with paper snowflakes but how would they feel with no gift? Then there I was, in the sitting room with the answer to all my prayers. I can’t even find the words to explain the relief and joy. Just thank you!”
Earlier this year, the Alive volunteers went to take food to a family who had received some gifts at Christmas. They were greeted at the door by two of the little girls. Dressed in tutus and fairy wings, the young girls were excited to show her all the gifts they had received and said it was “like magic”!
Alive UK, supported by Alive Church, is a registered charity. It has around 50 volunteers.