Hopespring and Together for Children spread the Christmas spirit across Sunderland

Two Together for Children staff members surrounded by Christmas presents and hampers for children and young people in Sunderland

Colleagues and partners at Together for Children Sunderland have raised £1,149 this Christmas to provide 200 luxury food and gift hampers to care experienced young people and families in need this Christmas.

The company has worked in partnership with Sunderland-based charity Hopespring, which works throughout Tyne and Wear to meet the educational, physical and mental health needs of young people across the region, on a Christmas Hamper Appeal.

Together for Children, which delivers children’s services on behalf of Sunderland City Council, employs over 800 staff that support children, families and education settings across Sunderland. The organisation’s Next Steps service works with care experienced young people from age 16 onwards, to provide practical help and advice around housing, further education, employment and budget management as they prepare for independent living. 

The team at Hopespring have created Christmas hampers for care experienced young people for the last four years. Following an incredibly challenging year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hopespring and Together for Children were keen to extend their support to families with children too.

In total, 75 luxury hampers will be delivered to care experienced young people across the city, while 125 families will receive one, delivered to their front door by Children’s Social Care and Early Help workers from Together for Children.

Lois Gott, Chief Executive at Hopespring said: “We at Hopespring are always deeply moved and inspired by the heartfelt, dedicated and inspirational work from all staff in every department and discipline at Together for Children. At the heart of all personnel you meet is the concern above all else for each and every child they encounter. 

We at Hopespring share their passion to go the extra mile in doing all we can to secure a successful future for the children and young people of our city. It’s our privilege to support TFC wherever and whenever we are able and adapt our resources in order to do so.” 

Jill Colbert, Chief Executive of Together for Children, adds: “Our staff support various good causes throughout the year and at Christmas. This year, following the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the young people and families we work with have faced significant challenges, and our staff wanted to use their usual Christmas fundraising as an opportunity to support those we work with throughout the year.

Whilst Christmas might look a little different for all of us this year, the young people and families we support often tell us that Christmas can be a difficult time, and they miss out on the small treats that others take for granted – treats that this year, might be even more special to us as we focus on the little things to get us through 2020.  Included in the hampers will be a few small luxuries like hot chocolate, biscuits, fluffy Christmas socks and other festive treats.

“I’d like to thank all who donated towards the Christmas Hamper Appeal – including our staff and Family Justice Courts staff and colleagues at Sunderland City Council.”

Alongside staff and partner contributions, Howdens Sunderland topped up the donations with a generous £250 gift, which helped Hopespring provide even more hampers to those in need.

Alongside their support of the Christmas Hamper Appeal, Hopespring also donated a further 800 Christmas presents for Cared For children and young people in Sunderland, including children living with foster families and living in Children’s Homes. The presents will be delivered to by those who work directly with the children and families in Sunderland and will also include a festive goody bag from Together for Children.