Doorstep Elves set to bring Christmas to disadvantaged families

02nd Dec

For many children, Christmas really can be “the most wonderful time of the year”: the excitement of leaving Father Christmas a mince pie on Christmas Eve, the thrill of opening presents the next day and the delicious Christmas dinner that follows. But for some children, Christmas is something that they only see happen to other people, or in the movies. 
Christmas is expensive, and this year there will be many more families struggling as a result of the pandemic. There are children in Hull who won’t receive a single present on Christmas day, even though their families would love to be able to give them a gift.
Hull charity HEY Children’s University and Tommy Coyle’s Coyle Sports Community have teamed up to bring the magic of Christmas to those children who otherwise wouldn’t have a Christmas. They have created the Doorstep Elves scheme where they will be visiting the doorsteps of deserving families to bring them presents and the ingredients to make a wonderful Christmas feast.
Former professional boxer Tommy and the HEY Children’s University team delivered Christmas presents and food to families in need last year, but this year they saw the need to make the scheme something much bigger.
Tommy said: “Lots of people have been saying, ‘Christmas is cancelled this year’ – well, not in my city! HEY Children’s University and Coyle Sports have got the backs of these families after such a shocking year for us all. Christmas is a time for giving, not receiving and we will do everything we can to help.”
The Doorstep Elves will deliver the treats to families that were nominated by their local communities through the Children’s University.  
The HEY Children’s University team set up an Amazon wish list with gifts ideas for the children and supporting businesses purchased items on the list for a specific child. The gifts will be sent to the Doorstep Elves team to wrap up and label for each family.
The charity also set up a GoFundMe page that received more than £1000 of donations from the general public which will go towards buying gifts.
The local businesses that have purchased gifts or made donations towards gifts are Phillips 66, Harris Lacey and Swain, Westcot Credit Services, ABP, BP, Sauce and C4Di. Cranswick Country Foods has donated meat products for the Christmas dinners and Morrison’s Beverley is donating the vegetables and gravy.
Marine Rescue Technologies has given the Doorstep Elves the use of a large space at its Beverley headquarters for the presents to be wrapped and sorted into sacks to take to the families. The company has also sponsored presents for the children.  
Natasha Barley, director at HEY Children’s University, said: “This has been a challenging year for all of us and some families have suffered terribly with parents losing their jobs. They are now worried about how they are going to provide a Christmas for their children. This gives us the chance to help families have a magical Christmas and bring some much-needed cheer. Christmas is a time for giving and kindness, and I think this is a lovely way to help families in need over the holidays.”
Main picture, from left: Charlotte Bramley, Rose James, Tommy Coyle, Natasha Barley and Jo Coates during the 2019 Christmas present drop.

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