Bournville Labour Party’s first Christmas appeal donates over 1,000 gifts to local children in need

Cllr Mary Locke (third left) with Bournville Labour Party volunteers Lucy Seymour-Smith and David Barker donate Christmas appeal gifts to the Allens Croft Children's Centre

Christmas is a really tough time of the year for some families in our community but thanks to the generosity of local people Cllr Mary Locke has been able to donate over 1,000 gifts to local children in need this Christmas.

Working in partnership with B30 Foodbank and Allens Croft Children’s Centre

Selection of children's gifts donated by local people to Allen's Croft Children's Centre
Selection of children’s gifts donated by local people to Allen’s Croft Children’s Centre

Our Christmas appeal was inspired by our work this summer with B30 Foodbank, when we donated £600 of food to local families in need. Through B30 Foodbank, Cllr Locke learned about the work staff and volunteers at the Allens Croft Children’s Centre do to support local families in need, not just at Christmas but throughout the year.

By working with the Allens Croft Children’s Centre, we were able to help local children and their families in two ways. Firstly, thanks to our appeal vulnerable children who use the centre, as well as their siblings and parents, are guaranteed to receive a gift this Christmas when they might not otherwise have done. Donated gifts included toys, clothes, books, toiletries and art supplies.

One family support member, upon receiving the donations, said, “It’s like the spirit of Christmas has come to the children’s centre”.

Secondly, the Allens Croft Children’s Centre were able to use the many craft materials we donated to run a special ‘Christmas craft’ week across the children’s centre locality, targeting their most deprived areas. At these events families made Christmas cards, decorations, pictures, and more. Everyone also had a small bag of craft resources to take home and make with their children at home. A wonderful time was had by all who attended.

Generous support from UNISON members and a local business

We were able to donate even more gifts thank to the generosity of members of the public service union UNISON and The Works shop at Stirchley Co-op. As a UNISON representative, Mary encouraged her fellow members to donate extra gifts and money to our appeal. We were able to donate even more gifts thanks to The Works generously giving us a 20% discount on all the gifts we bought with the money that had been donated.

Reflecting on the appeal, Cllr Mary Locke said:

“I am proud of the generosity local people have shown towards our first Bournville Labour Party Christmas appeal. Thanks to our appeal we have been able to donate over 1,000 gifts and help 700 families have a merry Christmas this year. Sadly, with 40% of local children living in poverty not every family will have the kind of Christmas we want for our own families but our appeal shows that by working together we can make a real difference to local families’ lives.”

Growing local need and what you can do to help

Sadly, a growing number of children and their families are in need this Christmas. B30 Foodbank estimate 40% of children locally live in poverty. Low wages, job insecurity and Tory cuts to benefits and public services mean that even families that are ‘getting by’ can easily find themselves in crisis. While Christmas is a happy time for many, it can also bring added problems including financial pressure and strain on personal relationships.

If our Christmas appeal has got you thinking about how you can help local families in need this Christmas, please consider making a donation to B30 Foodbank. You can donate money or food or sign up to help as a volunteer.

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