The scope and passion from our member businesses never ceases to amaze us. Despite all the problems, worries, hardships, and uncertainty our firms and their staff have faced this year, we have been overwhelmed by the desire to support one of our long standing festive partners; Toys on the Table.
Each year, this small, local charity provides a gift or toy to around 4000 children who are at risk of not receiving any presents this Christmas. It is heart breaking to say that Santa does not visit every child in the early hours of December 25th and the magic of Christmas will just not have the same meaning in some households in Leicester and Leicestershire this year. There may be no festive tree, no steaming hot lunch, no chocolate, cards or tinsel. This is the reality that faces some families. Many parents in this situation really want to offer their children something to look forward to, and Toys on the Table help them achieve that.
Each referral from Social Services, the Homestart and Surestart Centres, individuals and other young people’s support services is a reflection on the amount of child poverty existing in the places where we live. It’s been widely reported that 40,000 children are growing up poor in Leicester and the surrounding areas. That number is not just from families who rely solely on benefits, but a large proportion are those from households where one or both parents are working. So, it’s always a delight for us to offer our member firms the opportunity to support those children and young people by wrapping gifts.
Laura Kearsley, Partner & Solicitor at Nelsons Law took part last year and said
It was really eye opening for us, that there are so many children who need this service and that all this brilliant work is done by volunteers.
In addition to our member firms, we received a couple of requests from two key Leicestershire Cares projects; WIRE and Making Moves. Rudi Parra-Watson who runs the WIRE project wanted to help some of his participants, who are ex-offenders, put something back into society by wrapping gifts for the children. He says
Our WIRE participants are keen to find employment and by volunteering their time to support charities like Toys on the table, they will be gaining valuable experience to add to their CV. It shows they can be pro-active, use their time meaningfully and contributing to the community. I’m hoping it can be a small stepping-stone to improving their chances of finding employment in the future.
We would like to thank all our member firms and Leicestershire Cares projects for wanting to take part. We know a number of you were disappointed you couldn’t support due to the operational nature of your business or those that have many staff on furlough. We know how much time and effort you dedicate to Leicestershire Cares endeavours and will again soon. Please have a happy Christmas and hopefully a more prosperous and healthier 2021.
If you want to know more about anything relating to our festive activities or about our member firms volunteering in the community, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to speak to you.