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Natalie Denny, from Scouse Solidarity Sisters, says: “We’ve had 18 months of pandemic and redundancies which have impacted on many families.
“We are seeing more families in poverty and in need of support.”
Scouse Solidarity Sisters run a foodbank drive every year to keep families fed over the Christmas holiday period.
But Natalie adds: “When we started to plan our foodbank drive, I didn’t want us to forget the importance of kids having some magic, especially around Christmas.
“What tends to happen is we focus on ‘we need to feed kids’ which obviously we do, but for me it should be about more than that. It’s about not just having what we need to live, but having what makes life worth living as well.
“We want to give kids up to the age of 18 something that’s just for them; something fun with a little bit of magic on Christmas morning.”
More than 100 stockings and other items were given out to those who needed them last year, presented by local community organisations to the children and families they support.
Natalie says: “The reaction was emotional and joyous, families really appreciated them.”
And that’s why they’re just as keen to create that joy again, and are asking ‘generous Liverpool people’ to help those mums and dads who are struggling.
Anyone wanting to get involved can either make up their own Christmas Stocking – marked with the age range it is for – or give individual gifts to drop off at a collection point in Williamson Square this Thursday, or they can go on an Amazon wish list to donate items that will then be packed by appeal volunteers.
Items that can be put in the stockings or donated include small toys; soaps and gift sets; hair gels and deodorants; small soft toys, and perfumes and aftershaves.
Other things are chocolate and sweets, colouring books and art materials, children’s books, small puzzles, costume jewellery and hair accessories.
Natalie says: “We will be asking people to either buy a stocking and fill it up and drop it to the donation point, or arrange a pick-up from our small team of drivers (they can message us). They can also order the online stocking fillers, but they need to be with us by Thursday, December 2.
“Due to pandemic procedures and the idea that these gifts are from Santa, we can only accept new and unused items, although we appreciate everyone’s offers.”
Scouse Solidarity Sisters will be accepting the donations in Williamson Square between 4pm and 6.30pm on Thursday, and they are appealing for foodbank donations too.
Items for the foodbank include selection boxes; long life snack foods; long life seasonal foods; long life milk; cereals; tinned goods (beans, spaghetti, vegetables , fruit, pulses, tinned meals); pasta and rice, and jars of sauces like curry, chilli, and bolognese.
Natalie says: “We are engaging with services who are actively working with vulnerable families in the community to ensure the donations are fairly distributed and if anyone can spare even a single can from their weekly shop it might make all the difference to somebody who can’t.”
By Janet Tansley
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