Christmas in a box

Posted on November 11, 2014 by Lisa Hammerton

Blog - Xmas GroupAt Simplyhealth, we have community funds at all four of our locations which meet once a month to discuss applications for donations from local groups and organisations. Where it's at all possible, we also love to donate our time and help out at the events and/or visit the initiatives that we have supported throughout the year.

I'm a member of the Andover Community Fund and for the second year, we got behind Andover Foodbank's Christmas gift box appeal and used a Simplyhealth Community Day so we could do our bit to help.

The gift box appeal scheme is very simple: key workers at local agencies and schools identify children for whom a gift box will make a real difference. They are then delivered to local agencies ready for their care workers to pass on to the relevant families and children*.

With a budget of £250, we split ourselves into groups, decided which gender and age group we were buying for, and went shopping for items that we could use to make up the gift boxes. We were provided with a leaflet to guide us on suitable items to pack; these included cuddly toys, notebooks, toiletries and makeup.

The Independent Living store in the Chantry Centre kindly let us use their meeting room as our work station/ grotto where we were busy wrapping, packing, and labelling the shoe boxes.

In addition to putting together boxes, we also advertised the gift box appeal around our three Andover offices and it had a great response from our employees! An amazing 42 gift boxes were donated by our staff alone!

Altogether, we managed to donate a grand total of 74 boxes to the Andover Foodbank's Christmas gift box appeal. We had a great day and found it incredibly rewarding to support such a worthy cause, which will benefit many children in our community over the festive period.

Thank you to everyone who either made a box or donated items. You've all helped to make many families' Christmas very special and enjoyable.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Andover Community Fund!