Christmas at the Abbey Centre

We’ve been so impressed by the way our corporate partners and other local businesses have come together to provide some much-needed festive cheer for our community this Christmas. Their staff teams have been visiting our centre all week, bearing gifts that they’ve collected to be distributed at our various activities.

The Home Office Communications Directorate came first, with more than 50 presents for our guests at our over 50s Christmas party. Digital transformation consultancy Informed Solutions also offered a pile of traditional Christmas favourites to ensure that nobody left the party empty-handed.

This party is one of the highlights of our calendar as we invite 70 of our older members to enjoy Christmas dinner with all the trimmings in our café. It was lovely to get into the Christmas spirit with carols from our Freedom Choir, and gifts for all who attended from our very own Ms Santa. Thank you also to Strive Development for providing some special raffle prizes to add some excitement to the event. Many of our guests live on their own and are at risk of isolation this Christmas, so we are delighted to be able to give them the special celebration they deserve.

Mechanical and electrical contractor Phoenix ME and media company Total Media each collected dozens of toys for the families who use our Community Pantry. Thanks to our MP Nickie Aiken, we had a number of toys donated by national retailers Boots and John Lewis. We received several bags filled with toys, food and hygiene items from BlueBay Asset Management. We also had contributions to the Pantry from construction company Bouygues, from teams at the Home Office and Department for Education, and from food supplier Brakes.

It’s wonderful to be able to provide some Christmas joy for the children we support. Our elf Maria is excited to hand out their gifts!

The team behind the development at 105 Victoria Street are also keen to help out, so they’re delivering care packages for all of the guests at our Christmas meal for homeless people this week. These thoughtful packages contain hats, gloves, first aid kits and many other useful items our guests might need for the winter months. Many thanks to BentallGreenOak’s Welput team and Skanska for organising this generous donation.

We also want to thank home health care service company Home Instead for their financial contribution to cover our volunteers’ expenses.

In total we have well over 300 gifts to give to our community this Christmas. Many thanks to our partners for their amazing efforts! With your help we are making a real difference in the lives of local people, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet. We are delighted to be working together to provide some festive cheer for those who need it this Christmas.