Our Christmas’ charities
Christmas, with its message of ‘peace on earth and goodwill to all’, is a time of year that brings into sharp focus the difference in fortune across the society we live in. Christmas, for many, is a joyous occasion, a time of excess, a time for celebrating life with our family and friends. But, unfortunately, it’s not like that for everyone. For many people, Christmas can be a thoroughly miserable time, a time that highlights the grief, tragedy, suffering, loneliness, desperation, misery and misfortune that ‘life’ can bestow on any of us.
Although we try to be good, honest, caring people all year round, each year we choose a ‘Christmas Charity’ to support. We hope our efforts have brought a small measure of relief to:
2016: Great Ormond Street Hospital
Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) is an international centre of excellence for child healthcare; it’s often the first name that springs to mind when anybody thinks of children who are ill, usually desperately so.
We raised over £625. Our original plan was to buy gifts for the children who were in hospital at Christmas but, and understandably so, the hospital has incredibly stringent criteria about what can and can’t be given. In the end we decided to make a financial donation which meant that, although the children didn’t benefit from the gifts, the hospital benefitted in its entirety.
For an insight into the fantastic work the hospital does, particularly in this age of austerity and financial cutbacks, please visit the Great Ormond Street Hospital website at www.gosh.nhs.uk.
2015: Purley Food Hub
Purley Food Hub is a charity formed by Purley & Kenley Churches Together to help people in crisis who are without food. Food is donated by individuals, organisations and local supermarkets and is distributed from their distribution centre in the centre of Purley.
We asked for donations at our Christmas get together and I’m delighted to say, and thank you so much to all those who donated, that we raised over £500. Thanks also to Purley Food Hub for being kind enough to send a letter acknowledging our efforts. To learn more about the important role they play and how it’s received, please visit Purley Food Hub’s website at www.purleyfoodhub.net.
2014: The Children’s Trust, Tadworth
Since 1984, The Children’s Trust has been working with children and young people. The trust provides expert rehabilitation, education therapy and care at their specialist centre in Tadworth, Surrey, and offers support to children and their families around the country.
We were privileged to visit the trust’s Tadworth centre and were so taken by the work they do that we made a donation of £560, the money buying two events that appeared on the children’s wish list: a ‘Reptile Experience’ and a science workshop. We hope those who attended the events really enjoyed their day.
The Children’s Trust does incredible work: please visit their website at www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk for more information about the work they do and the ways you can support them.
2013: Open Kitchen’s Foodshare
Open Kitchen’s ‘Foodshare’ scheme provides cooked and uncooked food to those in and around the Maidenhead area who are homeless, disadvantaged, elderly or isolated and who can’t afford to feed themselves properly.
The staff at One Financial Solutions made a donation of £150 to their Christmas appeal. Although it was just a small amount, all donations help, and we hope ours brought a little ‘Christmas cheer’.
In 2015 Open Kitchen was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, a prestigious award that can best be described as the ‘MBE for volunteer groups’. For a look at the charity’s work, please visit their website at www.openkitchen.org.uk.