Its December and most people are looking forward to Christmas in anticipation of fun, presents and feasting. At Children North East we are launching our annual 'Giving Tree Appeal' asking for donations of toys, clothes, gifts, food and treats for less fortunate children and young people living in our region. Last year the generous people of the north east donated over 8,000 items which we distributed in time to make a happier Christmas for so many children in need.
Imagine the children of homeless families whose Christmas wish is simply to move back to their old neighbourhood, school and friends; or the children living in a Women's Refuge torn between their desire to see Dad but also to protect Mum from Dad. Children whose Christmas will be like every other day looking after a parent sick with depression; and children whose Christmas wish will be for Mum or Dad to be able to find a job and stop arguing about money. Children North East help children in families like these all year round.
Every December we hold a Christmas Fair at our Family Centre in one of the poorest parts of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, it’s one of the many ways in which players of People's Postcode Lottery really help Children North East give disadvantaged children, young people and families a bit of hope. The families living here don't take their children into town to visit Santa's Grotto because it's too expensive, so we have our own Santa in a homemade snowy grotto with party games, Christmas food and fun.
Since 2007 People’s Postcode Lottery players have given Children North East an incredible £521,383 which has enabled us to lift the hopes of thousands of children and young people. That funding, which comes with no strings attached, is essential for our mission to give disadvantaged children and young people a better chance in life. So thank you, every one of you, everyone at Children North East and the families we support wish you a very happy Christmas.