It all started with an innocent question posted on our Teams chat by Kelly Baxter who works on our We Care You Care project who had been asked by a Kinship support group if she knew of any help this year for children’s Christmas presents. That set off all the staff at MVDA who got busy looking into the support on offer and different ways of potentially helping.
The consensus was that due to COVID the support given in previous years by others was going to be stretched to capacity and the numbers of families needing support seemed to be rising. So as a staff team we thought is there something we could possibly do? We had a whip-round in the office, brought in some gifts but being a small team we knew it was not going to be enough, even by buying a lot of the gift through Inkind Direct, which is a charity offering items to charities at fantastically reduced prices.
As luck had it a few days prior a flyer had been posted through the office door from the building contractors Kier Construction who are working on the old Tax Office behind us, just introducing themselves. So a speculative brief email outlining the We Care You Care project and the need for Christmas presents was sent. Nothing was heard back from them, so it was thought that nothing would come of that, and alternatives were being thought up.
But, the beginning of November brought a very welcome telephone call from Claire Straughan at Kier Construction asking what sort of help we were looking for. End of November brought Claire to our office, twice with lots of presents for the children and some cash, which had been donated by their employees, which is absolutely fantastic in these hard times. Middlesbrough Football Club also donated some gifts. So, with the money raised by MVDA staff and the donations from those above, it is hoped that we can provide all the children on our list (168 in total) with a gift this Christmas.
A Big Thank you to all involved.
Photo: Claire Straughan, Kier Construction (left) and Sue Naylor, MVDA (right)