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Derby charity seeks Secret Santa volunteers to help make Christmas special for city's children in need

Derby charity seeks Secret Santa volunteers to help make Christmas special for city's children in need

A Derby charity is appealing for help from businesses as it prepares for its annual Christmas campaign. 

The Revive Healthy Living Centre, based in Derwent, Chaddesden, are seeking ‘Secret Santas’; organisations or individuals who can buy a gift for youngsters living in poverty, facing a life-limiting illness, loss of a parent or sibling, residing in care or have experienced physical, emotional or domestic abuse. 

Jo Andrew, the manager at Revive Healthy Living, said:

“We have had more than 100 referrals and we’re still weeks away from Christmas. 

“The scheme has been running since 2012 and Jo said it’s unusual to have so many enquiries at this time. All of those children who have been nominated are facing challenging circumstances; our Secret Santa appeal is a way of bringing a little joy to them at what can be a difficult time of year. 

“Requests we have had are for presents such as roller skates, bikes, sports vouchers, trainers and vouchers; simple things, really. 

“Whilst we’ve had fantastic support from several businesses in Derby – including Rolls-Royce, Asda, Thornton’s, Security Kings, Orchard Works Joinery, Derby Swap Shop, Best 4 Business Communications and the Co-op – and why we appreciate that 2020 has been challenging for many, we still really need help with our appeal. 

“Feedback from the Secret Santa programme is always positive.  It literally saves Christmas for so many families and children.  I’m always really humbled by the number of people who contact me that, despite having difficulties of their own, are willing to help someone else out. The community spirit in Derby, Derwent and Chaddesden is amazing and really heartening.” 

Revive, which is based in Roe Farm Lane, offers a range of services focused on health, wellbeing and aims to improve the quality of life for residents in Derwent and the surrounding areas. 

They work with food banks in the city and, as well as the Secret Santa scheme, run a food hamper scheme for older people and families in need. 

As well as providing a job club 5 days a week, the Charity also recycles new, branded household goods – such as detergents, cleaning products, nursery equipment, towels and bedding – that would otherwise go to landfill sites by offering them to local homes instead. This enables household budgets to go further. 

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Revive have received a higher-than-normal number of applications and expects to receive many more. 

“Our packages are support for those who need it most,” said Jo, “they’re not a sticking plaster. 

“This year has seen an increase in people needing Universal Credit and redundancy due to Coronavirus and we are trying to help as many people in the Derwent and Chaddesden area who are experiencing financial hardship that we can. If anyone is therefore experiencing problems and would benefit from the scheme, they can contact Revive for an application form." 

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