Everyone should experience a little joy at Christmas, but we know for many it can be a sad time. Loneliness, family breakdown, bereavement, or having just too little money to celebrate the occasion are some of the reasons. So with the help and support of many individuals and agencies, this project is able to provide hampers to many who are struggling. The hampers contain everything that an individual or family needs to put on a traditional Christmas spread – right down to mince pies and Christmas crackers!
“Nadine was thrilled to bits with the Christmas hamper and said there was no way they would have been able to have a proper Christmas dinner prior to receiving that. After all she has been through recently, it was a complete lift for her spirits, so thank you so much.”
How it Works
Each Autumn we touch base with all those who have supported the project in previous years. We ask schools, churches, businesses and other groups to consider making a pledge to collect specific items that will be used to make up the hampers.
We also depend upon the generosity of many individuals and organisations who donate the money we need to purchase fresh items for the hampers. This includes fruit and vegetables – not forgetting the chicken!
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, agencies workers are invited to nominate individuals and families to receive a hamper. Then just before distribution day our volunteers get stuck into preparing the hampers.
It all gets very hectic as we finalise preparations and get all the hampers delivered in time. None of this would be possible without the support of many agency workers who call to collect and deliver hampers to the doorstep of those they have nominated. It’s hard work – but very rewarding for all concerned. The appreciation shown by hamper recipients can be overwhelming!
Each year the project has benefited from many sources of support which has ensured we have been able to cover most of our direct costs. We are grateful to all of these including Bolton Council, Bolton at Home, Seddon construction, churches and businesses across Bolton and many individual donors. Thank you everyone for your continuing support!
Last Christmas we were once again extremely grateful to the Howarth Group for lending us a new warehouse at Logistics North just off the M61 to store items, pack the hampers and distribute them on Christmas Eve. It meant that the movement of food was much easier to manage as it was all in one place throughout December.
“We delivered hampers to an elderly lady who had just been conned out of all her life savings, and a family who had been burgled and all their Christmas presents stolen. Both were in tears when we gave them the hampers.”
“Having delivered four parcels, I felt totally fulfilled at the end of it. To be able to provide families who have been through difficult times over the last 12 months, the ingredients to complete their Christmas was fantastic. When we arrived to collect the parcels, seeing all the volunteers restored my faith in society. I went out delivering the parcels and the response was inspiring. All four families were overwhelmed with your kindness and couldn’t thank us enough for delivering the parcels.”
Would you or your group be interested in supplying items that go into the hampers for this coming Christmas? Perhaps you would like to contribute towards the funding we need to purchase the fresh items that go into the hampers? Or you may simply like to know more about how the project works. Please get in touch using our Contact page.
Nominations for households to receive hampers are made through agencies who register with us. There is a link here to make your nominations. This goes live from mid-November until just before Christmas each year.
Last Christmas we were able to provide 1263 Christmas hampers (slightly down from 1,270 in the previous year). We received and were able to respond positively to all referrals from 98 nominating churches and agencies within the town and from our own service areas. Over 45 organisations, churches and individuals donated items for the hampers.
Over 280 volunteers assisted us in the assembly and distribution of the hampers. We are immensely grateful to everyone who contributed in some way. We are proud to say that as a result of everyone’s efforts 4,270 people (that’s 2070 adults and 2130 children) benefited from the hampers (slightly down from 4,325 in the previous year).
Volunteering to help with the Project
We are working with many, many willing volunteers to bring a smile and hope to folk in Bolton who have put Christmas on hold this year due to illness, sadness or financial problems. Please read on if you would like to learn how you might get involved.
In the days leading up to Christmas we have jobs that need doing to make up and pack the hampers. These are Wednesday 18th, Thursday 19th and Saturday 21st December. Please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or ringing our office number. We will then advise you of the time slots when we need help. Our aim is to have just enough volunteers on hand at any one time for the tasks that need doing – and so no one is left at a loose end!
How to find us
Last year, hampers were packed and distributed from Logistics North Industrial Estate, Westhoughton. Hopefully we will be leant another unit on the same industrial estate next Christmas. This is just off J4 of the M61 or you can access across the motorway island off the A6. As this is a new estate, satnavs and google maps will not take you to the precise location. If you use BL5 1BU, this will take you to Costa Coffee at the gateway to the estate. From here you should follow the blue Urban Outreach arrows which will be placed on lampposts.
This will take you straight past the huge Aldi distribution depot on your left and then Amazon on your right. When you get to the end of the road (at Amazon) you need to turn left and follow the road until you reach the cluster of units shown on the plan opposite. The building we used last Christmas is shaded grey on the attached plan. We have now vacated this unit and handed it back to the owners. Hopefully we will be able to use another unit in the same location next Christmas.
We always ask our volunteers to contact us first before heading down to the units that are leant to us as we are only there at certain times and on certain days.