Disadvantaged families in Kensington and Chelsea have expressed gratitude and joy after receiving food and gift hampers over the Christmas break. The Christmas in a Box project provided over 8,000 people a helping hand, with 262 volunteers spreading joy by stepping up to help.
Fronted by the K+C Christmas Collective, a group of frontline charities in the borough, the Council supported the project with a contribution of £18,000. This allowed the 262 volunteers to ensure that Christmas came to the local families that needed it the most at the end of what was an extremely challenging year.
In total £200k was raised with the generous support of local people and partners. Charity SMART acted as secretariat for the project and the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation took the lead on fundraising and providing governance over the all the money raised for the boxes.
The boxes included cards, gifts, decorations and food. Of the 4,031 total boxes delivered, 2,404 were delivered to single people with 1,627 given to families. Additionally, 220 homeless people were supported with gifts and supplies.
One family said:
“Thank you so much for all you have done. It was such a heart-warming hamper to receive and I truly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. It’s been such a tough year and it’s people like you who make a difference. The food and gifts were overwhelming. God bless you all.”
Another family said:
“I was really touched by such a surprise and kindness and by the beautiful wrapping of the wonderful book about Kensington and Chelsea, the delicious Christmas lunch and the other lovely treats.”
Another family passed on thanks to the volunteers who were crucial in organising and delivering the boxes, saying:
“Our family is very grateful for all the hard-working volunteers who makes the Christmas hampers and have helped thousands of families this year.”
One volunteer who dedicated their time helping others over Christmas said:
“A number of the mums were really tearful and when I was delivering to a top floor flat, three children ran down to greet me and asked if the parcel was from Father Christmas.”
Cllr Anne Cyron, the Council’s Lead Member for Communities, said:
“It was our absolute pleasure to support this wonderful project; every year it provides real and tangible change in the community, bringing joy to local people at a time when it’s needed most. I can’t thank the charities, organisers and volunteers enough.”
The Council’s support for its residents has continued into the new year with a focus on enabling young people to learn at home. A £260,000 fund has allowed schools to purchase laptops, internet devices, software and other tech to families that need it.
For more information on the support the Council and its partners are offering throughout the pandemic, visit the Coronavirus pages of the Council website: www.rbkc.gov.uk/coronavirus.