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Supporting local baby bank, Stripey Stork, to deliver Christmas

Stripey Stork’s annual Christmas campaign, Santa Stork, has scaled-up this year to provide 5,000 children’s gifts to families across Surrey, Sussex and beyond. In the true spirit of Christmas we wanted to give a helping hand, which is why when we heard their team of elves were appealing for vans and drivers we jumped at the chance. Thanks also to the various teams – including Moneywise, Income Support, Eviction Support (Parashoot) and Temporary Housing – for playing Santa and easing the financial pressures of Christmas for an amazing 102 families. That’s spreading Christmas cheer with a total of 123 children’s gifts and 47 parent’s gifts.

Our Trade’s team helped save Christmas by turning their vans into sleighs and delivering hundreds of gifts to local schools, social services and the fantastic children’s hospital at home team, to name a few. Many of these organisations are working on the frontline so would have found it difficult to collect gifts during normal working hours.

After an extremely busy week at Santa Stork’s workshop where they received 1,000 gift requests in one day alone, we were pleased to be able to load the sleigh once again. A special shout-out to plumber Andy who jumped in to save the day (once again). Because of this campaign these children will now have a special gift (new and ordered with them in mind) to open on Christmas day, as well as stocking fillers to wake up to and in many cases a gift for the parent(s) or carer(s) who can all too often be forgotten in the run up to Christmas.

Raven is no stranger to Santa Stork, every year we refer families we know could do with a helping hand at this expensive time of year. No doubt the financial fallout of the pandemic has been a contributing factor to the number of families we referred this year.

As one family told us: “Thank you so much for the presents. I wasn’t expecting them to be so good and with wrapping paper and tape. I really really appreciate it all.”

One thing we love about this campaign, as their strapline of ‘Christmas giving with choice, dignity and care’ suggests, is how much effort is made to ensure parents feel involved in the giving. Each gift bundle comes with wrapping paper and Sellotape, and even spare batteries for any battery-operated toys. They really do think of everything! But they couldn’t do it without the community coming together like it does – from local businesses donating their time and resources, to the many organisations, families and individuals who have pledged gift donations. All to ensure that no child goes without and the magic of Christmas is not lost.

Remember, as the excitement of the festivities settles, our support services are not just for Christmas. If you are experiencing financial difficulties our Moneywise team are on hand to give advice on benefits and budgeting, as well as being able to signpost you to partner organisations like Stripey Stork all year round. Please get in touch by emailing moneywise@ravenht.org.uk or calling 0300 123 3399 and we’ll take it from there!

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