For many children, Christmas really can be “the most wonderful time of the year” – the excitement of leaving Santa a mince pie on Christmas eve, the thrill of opening presents on Christmas morning, and the delicious Christmas dinner that follows! But for some children, Christmas is something that they only see happen to other people, or in the movies.
Christmas is expensive and some families do not have enough money to make it special, and this year there will be many more families struggling as a result of the pandemic. There are children in Hull who won’t receive a single present on Christmas day, even though their families would love to be able to give them a gift.
Hull charity HEY Children’s University and Tommy Coyle’s Coyle Sports Community have teamed up to bring the magic of Christmas to those children who otherwise wouldn’t have a Christmas. They have created “The Doorstep Elves” scheme where they will be visiting the doorsteps of deserving families to bring them presents and the ingredients to make a wonderful Christmas feast.
Tommy and the HEY Children’s University team delivered Christmas presents and food to families in need last year, but this year they saw the need to make the scheme something much bigger.
Tommy said: “Lots of people have been saying ‘Christmas is cancelled this year’ – well not in my city! HEY Children’s University and Coyle Sports have got the backs of these families after such a shocking year for us all. Christmas is a time for giving, not receiving and we will do everything we can to help.”
The Doorstep Elves will deliver the treats to families that were nominated by their local communities through the Children’s University.
The HEY Children’s University team set up an Amazon wish list with gifts ideas for the children and supporting businesses purchased items on the list for a specific child. The purchased gifts will be sent to the Doorstep Elves team to wrap up and label for each family.
The charity also set up a Go Fund Me page which received over £1000 worth of donations from the general public which will go towards buying gifts.
The local businesses that have purchased gifts or made donations towards gifts are Phillips 66, Harris Lacey and Swain, Westcot Credit Services, ABP, BP, Sauce and C4Di. Cranswick Country Foods have donated meat products for the Christmas dinners and Morrison’s Beverley are donating the vegetables and gravy. Supporter of the charity Rikk Hammond-Price has donated a selection box for every child to enjoy after their Christmas dinner.
Marine Rescue Technologies Ltd have given the Doorstep Elves the use of a large space at their Beverley headquarters for the presents to wrapped and sorted into sacks to take to the families. The company have also sponsored presents for the children.
Natasha Barley, Director at HEY Children’s University said: “This has been a challenging year for all of us and some families have suffered terribly with parents losing their jobs. They are now worried about how they are going to provide a Christmas for their children. This gives us the chance to help families have a magical Christmas and bring some much-needed cheer. Christmas is a time for giving and kindness and I think this is a lovely way to help families in need over the holidays.”
[Rosanna James – HEY Children’s University]