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Donated presents help families this Christmas

Community engagement officer standing in van full of Christmas presents

Our annual Community Christmas present drive is back this year! This week we have distributed over 400 presents to children across our borough to be put under their trees in time for Christmas day.

We are really grateful to these local schools and organisations who donated the presents to support our local communities:

  • Guildford High School
  • Royal Grammar School
  • Guildford Lions
  • Staff at the Artington Park and Ride vaccination centre

Our community wellbeing team were out delivering the presents this week in our Community Services fleet and reached 175 families struggling with the cost of living.

Since the start of the project in 2020 we have delivered over 1000 presents to children in our borough at Christmas.

Leader of the Council and Lead Councillor for Community and Housing, Cllr Julia McShane, said:

"These Christmas presents mean so much to our community. For some of our families facing financial difficulty this Christmas, these presents are the only gifts they will be able to give their children this year. We care about supporting our young people and helping them have the same experiences at Christmas that any child should have.

"We are so lucky to live in a community where there is a strong sense of giving. We are enormously thankful to the local schools and organisations that have supported us with their donations this year. Without them we would not be able to give as much as we do.

"I'm proud that our community services are always ready to support the needs of our residents and that we can rely on the generosity of our communities. This is our third year running the project and as long as there is the need, we will continue to.

"Our Christmas present project started in 2020 during the pandemic. We saw the need to do something to support our families that were struggling because of Covid-19 restrictions and acted. As the pandemic continued, the need was also there to replicate the project in 2021. From our work in the community, we have been able to make sure the people who need it are a part of the scheme. This year our communities are facing similar challenges with money because of the cost of living crisis. We have been ready once again to be there for our families who need us most.

"I'd like to thank everybody that makes this possible, especially our community team, and wish everyone in our community a very merry Christmas."

A Guildford mother of two who received presents from us this year, said:

"I would like to thank the schools in Guildford that have put a present under the tree for my two young children. In these unpredictable times being a parent is difficult. You will be making my toddler so happy to play with his trucks and my daughter to be painting her arts and crafts. We are wishing you all a merry Christmas with your families. I am so thankful to The Hive team for their work and kindness which is accessible to all and has approachable staff. It means a lot, thank you and merry Christmas."