Keeping children and the most vulnerable fed this winter

Monday 21 December 2020
  • Charities and the council will help children and older people to not go without gifts and food this Christmas
  • Extension of free school meals vouchers will make sure 3,787 children have food in the holidays
  • Food delivery service supported by the voluntary sector will make sure those isolating have essentials at home

Ten-thousand children and older people will get Christmas gifts and food through the local Christmas in a Box project.

The 4,000 Christmas boxes for households include cards, gifts, decorations and food and are funded by donations, including a £18,000 contribution from Kensington and Chelsea Council this Christmas.

The Council will be working with organisations to make sure children and vulnerable people are supported over the holidays. Families with children on free school meals will get vouchers to help them over the Christmas period. This will support 3,787 children in the borough and eligible families have been contacted directly.

As London enters Tier 4 before Christmas, the Council is also supporting a food delivery service, run by Venture Centre, Westway Community Transport and Age UK K&C. The service will help residents who are isolating due to Covid and without internet access to have their shopping delivered at home at no additional cost.

Cllr Anne Cyron, Lead Member for Communities at Kensington and Chelsea Council, said:

“The continued support offered throughout the pandemic by community and voluntary sector providers is truly remarkable. We’re so proud to be working in partnership with them to contribute funding and deliver support for residents who need it this winter.

“These services will help to ensure children and vulnerable people do not have to go without this Christmas and we are truly grateful to every volunteer who helps to make this happen.”

Jess Millwood, CEO of Age UK Kensington and Chelsea said

“The voluntary sector has a proud tradition of working together to support residents in RBKC through difficult times, and this year has bought more challenges than ever. We are grateful to RBKC and the K&C Foundation for their continuing support for the sector during the pandemic which has enabled us to reach thousands of isolated older people, struggling families and those facing financial hardship. This year Voluntary Organisations and Community Groups have come together as ‘the Christmas Collective’ to bring tasty food and Christmas joy to thousands , ensuring that no-one in RBKC gets left out. We couldn’t do this without the brilliant dedication of hundreds of volunteers across the borough who prove every day that kindness is thriving in RBKC!”

With Christmas and New Year providing additional challenges for families, the Council is supporting local initiatives so that they can carry on delivering their invaluable work. This includes foodbanks to help our residents meet their food needs this winter.

The Council is also supporting the Covid Community Campaign, which accepts donations that are then distributed to charity partners – FareShare, The Trussell Trust, Magic Breakfast and Social Bite, distributed London-wide, as well as local charities for each borough.

If you want to discuss how you might be supported this winter through one of the Council’s supported offers, call our Covid-19 Hub on 020 7361 4326, Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. For more information on these offers, please visit the ‘Help with shopping and food’ page of the Council website.

To donate to the Christmas in a Box project go to https://www.whatifchristmas.com/.