More than 100 Christmas presents have been donated across Surrey, Sussex and beyond to families in need of a helping hand at what can be a difficult time of year.
Mount Green Housing Association, with the support of local charity Stripey Stork and its Santa Stork campaign, is providing 173 gifts to residents who have been hit hard by the pandemic – including those living in its temporary and supported housing schemes.
The campaign aims to ease the financial pressures that comes as a result of the festive period, by bringing the community together to ensure gifts are given and memories are made for local children in need.
Each gift bag contains a main gift and a stocking filler, which for children under the age of three is a book and anyone older is either chocolate coins or a selection box. Stripey Stork has also provided wrapping paper and tape so that parents and carers can feel involved by wrapping the gifts themselves. Every present has been kindly provided as a result of donations from families, individuals, businesses and other organisations who have donated to the Santa Stork campaign.
Janice Barton, Welfare and Benefit Officer at Mount Green Housing Association, said: “During the course of this year, I have spoken to a significantly higher number of people about their changing circumstances, who, for the first time in their lives, are having to rely on Universal Credit. With so many families facing hardship this Christmas due to the ongoing COVID19 crisis, it’s been amazing to alleviate some of these stresses by surprising residents with these kindly donated gifts from Stripey Stork.”
Nicola Dawes, Stripey Stork founder and General Manager said: “Every Christmas our Santa Stork campaign ensures deserving local children receive a new gift to open on Christmas morning. Sadly, the pandemic has meant that the need is greater than ever this year and we’ve reached a record high number of requests. Working with organisations such as Mount Green helps us to reach these families and ensure that no child goes without at this special time of year.”
Our Welfare and Benefits Team are on hand to help you if you are struggling – not only at Christmas time but all year through.