Give the Gift of Happiness to a Child this Christmas

Give the Gift of Happiness to a Child this Christmas

Lincolnshire Action Trust is asking people to consider donating Christmas gifts for children who are affected by a relative’s substance use and may find the festive period difficult. 

The charity is currently providing support, guidance and encouragement to 45 Lincolnshire children aged 5 to 18 years through its Young Oasis project.

“It may be almost impossible to fathom, but Christmas can actually be the hardest time of the year for some children,” explains Senior Young Oasis Practitioner Kim Thompson.

“Those who deal with difficult situations such as a parent or family member’s substance use can feel apprehensive about the festive period for various reasons.

“They may worry about a family member they no longer see or who is no longer living in the family home, or that alcohol and drug use will increase, as Christmas is traditionally a time for celebrating.

“They could also worry about the additional cost that Christmas puts on their parents or the people caring for them and whether they will get as many presents as their friends who are not in a similar situation. Some may not get any other presents at all.”

The team at Lincolnshire Action Trust is planning to give each of the children at least one gift but is reliant on donations to do so.

“This festive season, we want people to consider the children who may not otherwise get a gift to open on Christmas morning and give them a reason to smile,” said Kim.

“Young people work incredibly hard with practitioners to improve their own resilience and emotional wellbeing. A gift is our way of saying we care and recognising that they are working very hard to overcome some of the problems they face.

“That’s why we’re asking people and local businesses to consider donating a gift via our LAT Wishes campaign, to provide for the children we help who are not as fortunate as others.”

Young Oasis practitioners have identified suitable items for each young person and are hoping individuals and businesses will donate them through the LAT Wishes campaign.

“As practitioners, we get the chance to spend time with the children to know what they’d like, which makes it that extra bit special and helps them realise that people do care about them,” said Kim.

“When we’ve run the campaign before, I’ve seen children’s faces light up when we give them their presents; it’s truly magical and can make Christmas memorable for someone who is really deserving.”

Gifts on the wish list for children and young people aged 5 to 18 include craft items, gift sets, male and female toiletries, chocolates, make up, sticker books, squishies, vouchers, Rubik’s cubes, board games, story books and fluffy socks.

In addition, donations of cinema, pantomime and bowling tickets are welcomed because families will be able to use these to spend quality time together.

Kim added: “We’ve been blown away by the response to this campaign in previous years and are always really grateful for anything people can donate.”

Anyone interested in giving a gift can contact Debbie Harris at Lincolnshire Action Trust on 01522 806611 to organise a donation or to drop off something specific.

The team needs to receive donations by Wednesday 4th December so that volunteers and staff have enough time to wrap them and prepare them for distribution to their recipients.

For more information about Young Oasis and the other support programmes being delivered by Lincolnshire Action Trust, visit:  www.LATcharity.org.uk

Pictured from left to right is: Kim Thompson, Senior Young Oasis Practitioner; Alison Goddard, Chief Executive of LAT; and Kate Strawson, Director of Shooting Star – one of the companies who is donating for the second year in a row.

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