Christmas donations to our local Salvation Army
In 2021, as the UK came out of lockdown, our Senior Family Paralegal, Gemma Stenson, was keen to help the local community after the hardships of the pandemic.
Gemma grew up and went to school in Walton, and she knew the local Walton Salvation Army well and the local community. She approached the centre manager and offered to provide legal assistance to the community. Together they agreed to hold a legal clinic one Thursday a month with Gemma’s support.
For the past year, Gemma and the Family team have visited the Salvation Army centre every month, working with the local community and providing legal advice on family, divorce, and children matters.
Of course, Gemma could not resist helping the Salvation Army over Christmas as well. Over the Christmas period, the Salvation Army reach out to the people in their local community who suffer the most, and they bring joy and hope into their lives, with the help of their surrounding communities and businesses.
With the current cost-of-living crisis and with a particularly chilly winter this year, thousands of people turn to The Salvation Army for help. The Salvation Army have a presence in 650 communities across the UK, and each year they do what they can to bring some festive cheer and comfort to those in need.
During December, many centres reach out with their Christmas appeal to help local families.
They ask for basic food parcels which they use to provide ‘Festive Food Hampers’ that contain ‘treats’ for families or individuals to enjoy over Christmas. These are usually items more fortunate families just take for granted as part of Christmas, but for others, they are the extras that they just cannot afford.
A month ago, Gemma approached Jeanette Griffiths, the Community Centre Manager at the Salvation Army Walton where Gemma volunteers. Gemma wanted to see where Bell Lamb & Joynson could offer further help over Christmas. Many of the Salvation Army offices link up with local schools, they also receive numerous referrals from social workers and health visitors each year. This time of year is particularly difficult, as sadly many children do not receive gifts on Christmas. The number of people in need this year has also been much higher than usual with the cost-of-living crisis. The Walton Salvation Army office helped hundreds of children and vulnerable adults last year, most of whom were from local schools including Northcote and Rice Lane.
With the Christmas appeal in mind, Gemma approached the team at Bell Lamb & Joynson and asked them to contribute toys, gift sets, and food items, with a particular focus on toys for toddlers up to age 12, and toiletries for children aged 13-18.
The response from the team was overwhelming, and on the 12th of December (L-R) Emily Oliver, Millie Broadbent, and Gemma took the donations and delivered it to the Salvation Army, and presented the donations to the Community Centre Manager Jeanette Griffiths (Left).
A huge thank you to all our staff who contributed, to our partners that contributed £500 worth of toys, to Gemma Stenson for arranging this wonderful initiative, and to Emily Oliver, Millie Broadbent, and Kelsey Faulkner (not pictured) who helped sort and deliver the donations.
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” Coretta Scott King.