Christmas cheer spread to local children thanks to kind-hearted gestures

By Jamie Hill - 22 December 2020

  • Swindon Borough Council’s Corporate Director of Children’s Services, David Haley, with Dr Brenda Moore, Swindon Rotary Club, with donations of  backpacks and gifts for local children

    Swindon Borough Council’s Corporate Director of Children’s Services, David Haley, with Dr Brenda Moore, Swindon Rotary Club, with donations of backpacks and gifts for local children

Christmas has come early for some local children and families thanks to kind-hearted gestures from residents and businesses in the town.

Rob Stygall, Family Support Worker at Swindon Borough Council, with bikes donated by Wiltshire Police for local children supported by the Council’s Family Intervention Support Services (FISS)

Swindon Borough Council’s Family Intervention Support Services (FISS) team recently received a donation of unclaimed bicycles from Wiltshire Police following a clear out at Gablecross police station.

Family Workers at the Council then fixed up the bikes, with the help of a number of parts given by Mitchells Cycles, to make sure they were in tip-top condition ready to be given to children, who are supported by the service, as gifts on Christmas Day.

Rob Stygall, a Family Worker at the Council, said: “The response has been amazing and demonstrates how working together with a number of local services can make a difference. We are so pleased these bikes will put a smile on the faces of local children on Christmas Day.”

Rotary Club of Swindon donated backpacks filled with useful items for children who may need to be away from home for a night or two.

A large number of toys and gifts were also donated to the Council’s Early Help Team, from Nationwide Building Society, which will now be distributed to local children.

Staff at the local parcel delivery firm DPD have also gone the extra mile to work with the Council’s FISS team to identify families that most need some support this Christmas. The staff from DPD have provided many lovely Christmas gifts for children, teenagers and families who would otherwise find this Christmas difficult.

Members of staff from the FISS team will deliver the presents to families in Swindon who need some extra support at this time of year to try and ensure that no children or teenagers go without this Christmas.

Councillor Mary Martin, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “We are so grateful for these and many other acts of kindness from local residents and businesses to help us to make sure that Christmas is a special and memorable time for families in Swindon.

“Christmas will undoubtedly be different for us all this year, so gestures like these will make a really meaningful difference and spread some cheer to local children after what’s been a tough year for everyone. Thank you to all those involved for going extra mile to support our children and families, it will mean so much to them all.”

Sue Frawley, President Elect of the Rotary Club of Swindon, said: “We are delighted to be involved with this on-going project. It is important to support children and young people who for a variety of reasons may have to stay away from home overnight due to a family emergency and may not necessarily be able to take their personal belongings.

“The backpacks for both boys and girls in all age groups contain toys, toiletries, colouring books, pencils etc for children to take with them. We are especially grateful to the many generous donations from the Swindon and Royal Wootton Bassett Rotary Clubs, individuals in the community and Boots in Old Town.

“The people of Swindon have yet again, been so generous – a lot of the items donated have been bought new especially for this project. The Youth Committee at our Club is committed to giving more backpacks, toys, blankets and clothing to Swindon Children’s Social Care and Early Help Teams on an ongoing basis.”

If you would like to help with this project, whether this is giving a backpack, toys or even a monetary donation, please contact Sue Frawley on 07881 246110.

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