Charity's delight as new record set

Malvern Gazette: TREATS: Jane Knowles of Just So, Carolyn Dixon of Home-Start, and Helen Portman of Toy Corner at the launch o fthe appeall in Barnard’s Green, Malvern. TREATS: Jane Knowles of Just So, Carolyn Dixon of Home-Start, and Helen Portman of Toy Corner at the launch o fthe appeall in Barnard’s Green, Malvern.

FATHER Christmas has been getting a helping hand this year – with a festive gift appeal to provide presents to children in Malvern proving a recordbreaking success.

Kind-hearted shoppers in the town pulled out all the stops to help spread some Christmas cheer by buying gifts for youngsters supported by Home-Start Malvern Hills.

Every December the charity, based in Upper Chase Road, Barnards Green, runs a festive gift appeal asking people to consider buying an extra gift for one of its children while they are doing their Christmas shopping.

And despite times being tight for many, people have dug deeper than ever this year – donating more than 100 presents, a new record for the appeal.

Scheme manager Jess Bird is thrilled that in its sixth year the appeal continues to capture the hearts of the community.

She said: “We are well ahead of Santa this year and a lot of them have already been distributed.

“We are already past 50 deliveries and there is probably the same amount again still to go out. It means a massive amount to our families just to know that someone else is thinking of them and they are not on their own.”

Ms Bird paid tribute to Barnards Green businesses Toy Corner and Just So, who are partners in the appeal and have again been a key part of its success by encouraging their customers to support the cause.

“That it has been the usual brilliant success is as always thanks to the support of our local traders,” she said.

“Their support is vital to us. We get a lot of people coming back to us six or nine months later, whether they are potential service users or volunteers, saying that they first heard about Home-Start through the gift appeal.”

Home-Start provides support, friendship and practical help for families with children under five.

With locally funded schemes in more than 300 areas across the UK, it is one of the nation’s leading family support charities.

For more information about its work or becoming a volunteer, call 01684 893125 or email enquiries@ homestartsw.org.uk.

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