Over the years we have been able to build relationships with many families, who have been empowered to succeed. With the help of numerous partners, we have been able to bless many families in Brighton and Hove and beyond through our Christmas Cheer Project. We have provided hampers to families who most need the help and support over the Christmas period.
The individuals, organisations and churches appreciate that their donations go to people we are in relationship with and they value this principle.
From the feedback received it is evident that families very much appreciate and value the Christmas hampers, especially with the rising cost of energy. Many recipients shared the contents of the hamper with other friends and family.
For Christmas 2022 we received donations of new gifts and monies from individuals and organisations and churches in the Sussex area. Despite the rising cost of living, we were still able to provide 85 large boxes of gifts into 65 homes that directly impacted 248 individuals. The hampers were tailor made for each family and each hamper contained 3 substantial gifts per person; one of which would give them extra warmth and many stocking filler type gifts. Each family also received additional bags; one of non-perishable food and another of toiletries.
Due to the generosity of many individuals from Thumbprint Foundation, we were able to provide fresh ingredients for a traditional Christmas dinner for 35 families.
Appreciation was expressed not only for the hampers but also for the human interaction as the hampers were delivered or collected. (See below for the feedback received).
Donations for Christmas Cheer
Call our phone line to arrange a delivery time to our centre. We are now taking deliveries until Friday 1st December 2023.
What to Donate
Gifts for all ages and genders.
We Do Not Take
Your donation for Christmas Cheer will help us empower more families. We use PayPal for the payments, but you don't have to have a PayPal account to donate:
Many people volunteered for long days working on sorting the gifts, packing the hampers and delivering them across Brighton, Hove and Hastings.
We are very grateful to all the donors who have helped us fill the hampers and food bags. Some of them are shown here:
Packing and delivering
The recipients were overwhelmed with the kindness shown towards them, many were loss for words; and many bursting into tears, here are just a few of the responses:
‘I would like to say a massive thank you for the support you have given me and my daughter over the last month. You don’t understand how much pressure it has taken off me, wondering how I am going to get through this hard time. But THANKS to you, it is helping in a big way. So keep up the good work and once again THANK YOU.’ From a father and daughter
‘We would like to say a big thank you for all your hard work through the year especially with the Covid epidemic and cost of living and energy rises. We appreciate the food and the Christmas hamper and presents. Without your help, we as a family don’t know how we would cope. Once again Thank you.’ From a family of three
One parent just kept crying and hugging us as her expression of appreciation. She could not find the words.
‘I’m in tears, I’m so thankful and honoured that you have helped me so much. Thank you so much to all of you. Bless you, thank you.’
One family, when we checked where they were at, asked, ‘“Do you think it is possible for a little help this year, as like last year, there are still quite a few of us?” You guys are amazing. Thank you so much and have a great Christmas.’
One of the families we helped referred another family from the block of flats they live in. We were able to provide a hamper for that family as well.
Another family was overwhelmed as they did not know how they were going to do Christmas and had no idea the hampers were coming.
A young Mum with a baby said ‘thank you so much for the hamper you have given us, it has been a huge blessing. I didn’t have a dressing gown and couldn’t believe it when I saw one in the hamper for me. We had nothing for Christmas.’
‘You are my saviour’, was the response from a man who had been put on sick leave due to an injury and finances have been bad since March. He later told us ‘I shared my food with another person’.
One family, where the older sibling is helping to care for the rest of the family, cried and said ‘I can’t believe we are going to have another brilliant Christmas because of your help and this is going to be my dad’s last.’
A young single mum with two children and is a carer for her mother-in-law was in a crisis due to an increase fuel direct debit payment and a car repair. She was in the process of taking back the one gift she had brought for her two children to be able to cover their food cost. Fresh Start was able to step in and give her the much-needed support.
‘Thank you so much! I just wanted to say how grateful we were for the hamper; it was so so kind and we all appreciated it so much. It really made a huge difference; the gifts and food were all such a wonderful surprise and so thoughtful. The children absolutely loved their jumpers and pyjamas and blankets, but especially appreciated your kindness. Really, I can’t think of words to say enough, thank you so so much!’
A Headteacher said that the parents were on their knees when she handed over the hampers to them and they couldn’t believe what had been provided. One particular parent could not afford anything for Christmas for her daughter.
A School in Hasting had 4 families in dire circumstances with health, with family and one had gone through suicide. In all of the 4 families, the teenagers were the carers, and they had a complete Christmas.