For the last ten years Growbaby has linked with the children and staff at Epsom College who have held a Christmas Toy Service. These gifts are for children in the Borough of Kingston who have been nominated, mainly by social services, the police, health and other agencies, as they might not otherwise receive a Christmas present. This began with a humble start with 50 or so children receiving a present. In 2014 this allowed us to provide 1,100 presents for families in the Borough of Kingston. It has been wonderful to be involved in the Toy Service and the generosity of the children and staff at the school has been amazing. We have received bicycles, play stations and many more wonderful gifts.
How did 2016 go: In 2016 we had even more families nominated to Growbaby for Christmas presents. We had over 1,500 children who were put forward. In 2014 Kingston and Richmond Children's services joined together, this means we are now serving folk from both Boroughs. Epsom College continued to partner with us and they continue to be amazingly generous. We were thrilled to partner with the Met Police for the third time.
Officers from Kingston police pose with charity Growbaby's Noni Farrelly and Martin Ball's Scrooge from the Rose Theatre's upcoming production of A Christmas Carol
So what is 2017 looking like? We keep asking ourselves how do we keep on going, so many gifts, so much need and it just keeps growing. So if you would like to get involved this year; either by providing a gift or perhaps by helping us pack up please just do get in touch with us. This year we have been generously donated the space at the TA centre in Kingston, Portsmouth Road, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT1 2NB and we will be packing up on Saturday 10th December from 09.45 - 16.00 so we would love you to join us.
To all those who contributed so generously to the Christmas gift drive this year I would like to send a huge ‘thank you’.
Many of my families are underprivileged, but there are a select few whose lives are a continuous struggle. Your gifts not only mean that these children will have something to open on Christmas day, but the parents/grandparents feel a true sense that they are cared for in the community; that they are not alone. So thank you again for making that difference. "YS Social Worker".