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Wanted: Some helpers for Santa at the Ellesmere Port Christmas Dinner Project

Santa needs some little helpers for this year’s Ellesmere Port Christmas Dinner Project, which aims to give young care leavers a festive season to remember.

The project was inspired by poet and broadcaster Lemn Sissay’s Christmas Dinners charity, which does the same for care leavers across the country.

It’s been running in Ellesmere Port since 2018 and has previously provided a Christmas Day with all the trimmings at the home of one of the key project organisers Action Transport Theatre, based at Whitby Hall in the town.

Christmas will come to them

Covid-19 may have put a stop to the usual festive gathering at Whitby Hall but innovative organisers have devised an alternative way to brighten up Christmas Day for care leavers who may not have family to spend it with.

If the 50 young care leavers aged 18-25 can’t come to Whitby Hall, then Christmas will come to them, courtesy of kindhearted volunteers from Ellesmere Port Christmas Dinner Project.

And they are now looking for volunteers to help through either buying, wrapping or delivering presents. Ellesmere Port Christmas Dinner team have already sent out advent calendars and decorations to start the festivities, but more help is needed to make this a Christmas to remember.

A small group of volunteers are also needed to wrap and prepare hampers of goodies on Saturday 19 December. This will take place at a large venue in Chester and Covid guidelines will be adhered to.

“We are looking for volunteers to help buy stocking fillers for the young care leavers.”

Sam Hutchinson, Ellesmere Port christmas dinner project

Pair of adults are also being sought to be delivery drivers, dropping off presents and hampers across Cheshire West, Liverpool and Manchester on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

A preview of the 2019 Ellesmere Port Christmas Dinner Project, presented and produced by Angela Ferguson

Toy donations

And some of the young care leavers have young children aged nine days to five-years-old, and so any businesses or toyshops able to donate any toys to brighten up the children’s day are invited to contact project organisers.

A previous Ellesmere Port Christmas Dinner Project gathering. Image: Ellesmere Port Christmas Dinner Project

Project spokesperson Sam Hutchinson said: “In the past we have been fortunate to be offered lots of support and we hope you can assist us again this year? We are looking for volunteers to either buy presents, wrap presents or deliver presents. Could this be you or your family?  

“We are looking for volunteers to help buy stocking fillers for the young care leavers.

“We’ll provide you with information about their favourite chocolates, sock size and favourite smellies so you can personalise the gifts, along with writing a personal note from you to them.”  

Translators needed

The team are also keen to hear from people who can speak Tigrinya, Amharic, Fur and Sudanese Arabic, for translation purposes, as these are the first language of several of the care leavers.

Get involved

Anyone willing to get involved is invited to complete a form using this link.

People can also help by:

Photo: Ellesmere Port Christmas Dinner Project
About Angela Ferguson (195 Articles)
I'm a writer, journalist and blogger, as well as the founder and editor of culture webzine wearechester.co.uk. I'm also a university lecturer in journalism and media communications and a radio presenter for hire.

2 Comments on Wanted: Some helpers for Santa at the Ellesmere Port Christmas Dinner Project

  1. Marg Manford // November 28, 2020 at 5:59 pm // Reply

    Hi, I was leaving care worker/social worker in Wirral but took early retirement. I would be happy to offer my support in my local area, Ellesmere Port.

    Liked by 1 person

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