THOUSANDS of presents have flooded into Thurrock Council from generous people, far and wide, to ensure all Thurrock’s Children in Need have something to open on Christmas Day.
In a really successful partnership with intu Lakeside, a Christmas Tree was set up in the shopping centre and decorated with hundreds silver stars – each of which represented a Child in Need in Thurrock.
Generous shoppers were invited to choose a star which was labelled with a fake name but real age and gender – and asked to purchase a gift to donate.
Elected members and officers donated their lunch times, evenings and weekends to receive presents at the centre, to wrap the gifts and finally, to deliver them in time for Christmas.
Cabinet Member for Children’s and Adult Social Care, Cllr Sue Little said: “This whole project has been wonderful and it is simply down to the officers and residents who have gone above and beyond in the name of the community of Thurrock.
“Together, we have given over 2500 gifts to lots of children in the borough – this could not have happened without the hard work and dedication of a great many people.
“I have to give my warmest thanks to Marc Myers and his team at intu Lakeside who helped give the Christmas Tree a home this year and their efforts to collect presents from kind and generous residents.
“In addition to intu’s invaluable help, support came in from lots of local businesses like Ikea who donated over £700 of staff money following a string of fundraising events.
“Marks and Spencer, Debenhams and House of Fraser all stepped up and donated wrapping materials to wrap the gifts and to the many, many other retailers who came forward and donated gifts cards and presents right up until the tree closed today (Tuesday 20 December).
“Lots of these children will have a very special Christmas this year. My heart goes out to every one of the thousands of people who took the time to get involved. You have done something amazing.
“We will be uploading lots of photos taken through the whole project on the Thurrock Council Facebook page (facebook.com/ThurrockCouncil) in the next few days – send us yours to be included.”
These Children are in need of additional support all year round and you can help further by considering becoming a foster parent. You can give a Thurrock a child a home temporarily or more permanently. If you have space in your home and heart to help a Thurrock child, visit Thurrock.gov.uk/fostering for more info.