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Secret Santa Call Out Brings Christmas Cheer To Local Families

Revive Healthy Living Centre in Chaddesden has launched its tenth annual Secret Santa campaign to match generous benefactors with some of the most under-privileged and vulnerable children in the city.

In 2021, Secret Santa supported 466 children living in poverty. All were living with very difficult and challenging circumstances including; children and young people being looked after by the state or extended family members, those facing a terminal or life limiting illness, bereavement of a parent or sibling and young people that had experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

This year, due to the cost of living crisis, Revive is expecting an unprecedented number of referrals for support across Chaddesden, Derwent, Oakwood and Spondon, but will only be able to help everyone with the support of local community and businesses that want to help a local child in need.

Under the Secret Santa initiative, individuals, group and businesses are asked to register their interest, they will then be provided with a Christmas tag that explains why a child needs help and the type of gift they would like for Christmas.

Once the gift has been purchased, it can dropped off at the Revive Centre on Roe Farm Lane, Chaddesden, ready to be wrapped and delivered by our elves.    It is a very personal service that is unique to each child.

Alternatively, a donor can make a financial donation via the crowd funding page Revive Aid Revive Aid – a Charities crowdfunding project in Derby by Revive Healthy Living (crowdfunder.co.uk)or buy a gift card.

Revive trustee and Derby City councillor Martin Rawson explained: “Secret Santa has been really well supported by local businesses, organisations and individuals for the past ten years.

“This year we hope that even more people will come on board to ensure we can help more children and young people who would not otherwise experience the joy of Christmas due to circumstances beyond their control.

“Last year was really tough and many parents/carers explained that, without Secret Santa, they would not have celebrated Christmas. As we feel it’s important for all children to enjoy their childhood, this was absolutely heart breaking to hear.

“Unfortunately, Christmas 2022 will bring even more issues for many families with the ongoing and worsening cost of living crisis.

“We therefore hope that even more people, groups and businesses will come onboard so that we can help children and young people who would not otherwise experience the joy of Christmas due to circumstances beyond their control.

“We work hard to identify the children most at need in our local communities and ask them what they want so that we can match them with what our army of Secret Santas are able to provide.

“First time recipients are always the priority as well as families of parents who have proved that they are doing all they can to change their circumstances such as attending our Job Club or money advice sessions at the Revive Centre.

“From previous experience, this is not just about the latest toys. We are often asked for basic necessities such as a new winter coat, trainers, football boots and warm pyjamas and warm dressing gowns.

“Others often ask for things that will help them pursue their hopes and dreams, such as a laptop to help with college courses, football boots so they can join a local team or a bike so that they can travel to School and not have to ask their parent or guardian for bus fares.

“One young man asked for help with buying a hairdressing kit, clothes and shoes so that he could enroll on a college course and work in a salon.  There’s no doubt in our mind that Secret Santa can and does change lives.

“Whatever the request, it is good to know that children and young people are getting a gift that will not only put a smile on their faces but will make a positive difference to their lives at what should be a magical time of year for everyone.

“As it gets closer to Christmas, our army of Santa Elves will wrap each gift and deliver them direct to the children in the week before Christmas.

“We always ask for a thank you from the parent/guardian and pass this information back to each donor.  Everyone that gets involved, will therefore learn how their gift has helped.”

Among the people who came on board as a Secret Santa last year and has signed up again this year is grandmother and retired nurse practitioner Jean Castle.

She said: “When I heard about the Secret Santa appeal and heard some of the heartbreaking stories of families in dire circumstances, I sobbed and just knew I had to help in whatever way I could.

“I contacted Revive and then picked up a couple of tokens which highlighted what a child wanted for Christmas and went out to buy it.

“I have also encouraged friends and family to do the same and I think we bought about 50 gifts between us last year with some people clubbing together to buy more expensive items or making a donation to Revive. Everybody has been very kind and have given what they can.

“What I like about Secret Santa is that Revive make sure that it supports those families who really need it and are in circumstances beyond their control.

“I am Derby born and bred and I wanted to do something to support a local charity that helps local people.

“There will be many more families who will be struggling this Christmas with the cost of living crisis and particularly the energy bills soaring so I would appeal to everyone to do what they can – however small – and ensure that children don’t go without at what should be a special time of year.”

To find out more about being a Secret Santa this year, please email secretsanta@revivecentre.com or call 01332 288700.


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