Local people help make Christmas special for vulnerable children
20 December, 2016
Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of local people, hundreds of presents have been donated to help brighten up Christmas for vulnerable children.
Bridge FM, Brynteg Comprehensive School and Hafod Y Wennol have all dropped off Christmas presents to Bridgend County Borough Council after organising separate toy appeals, and the gifts will be distributed to underprivileged children this week so they won’t go without during the festive period.
Christmas is a time for giving and who more worthy of receiving that generosity than vulnerable children, particularly those in care who can find this season extremely difficult.
As part of Bridge FM’s annual Christmas Toy Appeal, residents and local businesses donated hundreds of Christmas presents which were then split between various organisations across the county borough, including those children in care.
Members of staff at Hafod y Wennol in the Vale of Glamorgan, an assessment and treatment unit for adults with learning disabilities, went the extra mile this Christmas by getting their friends and family on board to donate presents for children of all ages.
And finally, as part of their ‘Santa Appeal, which has been running for 22 years, kind-hearted pupils from Brynteg Comprehensive School raised a whopping £3,200 by organising an array of activities, such as: selling sweets, sponsored walks, bake sales, a carolathon, and bag packing at Sainsbury’s. The money raised by the mini-Santas was used to buy Christmas presents for 109 children and young people across the county borough. The presents were delivered to the council offices courtesy of Apsee Removals where the Brynteg pupils were waiting to hand-deliver the gifts themselves.
Priority will be given to those children and young people who have entered the care system at what should be a festive and fun period for them, or those who might not receive anything or very little due to their difficult family circumstances.
Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, Councillor Phil White, said: “We’re overwhelmed and touched by the kindness of local people who have put children first in their thoughts this Christmas. Some children would have not a single present to open on Christmas Day if it wasn’t for Bridge FM’s Toy Appeal, Brynteg’s Santa Appeal and the kind heartedness of staff from Hafod y Wennol.
“As many children will be separated from their birth parents and possibly their siblings, the gifts will help spread some Christmas cheer.”
"Everyone who donated presents or sponsored pupils have done their bit to make sure that a lot of very vulnerable children have something to smile about on Christmas morning, so on behalf of these children, we are truly grateful.”
Currently there are 385 children and young people in care and the need for more foster carers continues.
Councillor White added: “Many of the children in care are looked after by foster carers, who make a huge difference to the lives of these vulnerable children, helping them reach their full potential.
“We need to continue in our efforts to attract more people to become foster carers so I urge anyone that is interested in fostering to contact the team for an informal chat. They will be able to provide all the information you need to make a decision on whether to become a foster carer.”
Foster carers are given extensive training and full support, and receive an allowance for their role. Child fostering allowance is not taxed, and does not count against state benefits.
For more information about becoming a foster carer, call 01656 642674 or visit www.bridgendfostercare.wales