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NDS took part in the Secret Santa Scheme for the second year running this Christmas and I was very happy to donate a gift to one of the children.

The Secret Santa Scheme is a scheme where companies and organisations in Oxford donate presents to underprivileged children and young people throughout Oxfordshire.

This year, 44 staff members throughout the department showed their support to this cause by generously buying and wrapping gifts with a lot of thought and effort.

The gifts were delivered to Blake Morgan LLP, the law firm who co-ordinate the scheme with social services, and a Secret Santa Handover Event was organised at their offices at Seacourt Tower in Oxford. This was an opportunity to celebrate the hard work everyone has put in this year and to admire the enormous stack of presents before they are sent off to the children. The children will then receive their wonderful presents at their Christmas party.

I went to Blake Morgan for the handover of the presents, and was amazed at how many gifts had been donated by many local businesses including us.

There were 984 gifts in total and they are to be given to three areas of social care:

  • Children who have a parent in prison and having to live with the stigma and lack of financial support this has created;
  • Older young people who find themselves coming out of care and have no families or friends facing Christmas alone and without gifts;
  • Children under the care of Social Services.

Being a parent alone whilst my children grew up I understand how hard Christmas can be, so it was very important to be able to give something back to the community. It was a real privilege to see the gifts, meet the many companies that support this wonderful venture and after helping to deliver many of the gifts to the Rosehill Family Centre, being able to meet the many social workers who work tirelessly with the children, families and young people.

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