A Salford resident has organised a gift collection to benefit less fortunate families across the city this Christmas.
Claire Havey has organised the collection on behalf of the charity Manchester Youth Zone, who work with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds providing them with “Somewhere to go. Something to do. Someone to talk to.
“I’m keen to get the Quays community involved because of stereotyping of children and anti-social behaviour and try to encourage people living here to consider how children living not very far away are struggling at this time of year in particular.”
The latest Government figures show that 17.3% of children are living in low income families, however the proportion across Greater Manchester is much higher.
Living on Salford Quays, Claire noticed the difference between her own community and those neighbouring where she lived saying, “Salford Quays is an affluent area of Salford, but it is surrounded by real poverty. Christmas is an expensive time of the year for everyone, but if there’s anything the people of the Quays can do to help, then I’d encourage them to do so.
Work completed by the Nuffield Foundation during their “Atlas of Inequality Project” has discovered that in England the most and least deprived communities often neighbor each other. Salford Quays and its surrounding towns is an example of this.
not forgetting Salford Quays of course, which is a real stand-out pic.twitter.com/sKHsQbLhz8
— Alasdair Rae (@undertheraedar) 11 December 2019
The collection is looking for donations of festive food treats, DVD’s, arts and crafts sets and toiletries, amongst a very long list.
“Christmas to me is all about being with the people that you love,” Claire reveals. “I have a lot of nieces and nephews and see how excited they get about Father Christmas and if they’ve been good enough, how thankful they are to get presents in return.
“But then I think about all the children and families out there who don’t have the luxury of being able to afford to give their children new presents, and to me, whatever I can do to help even one child at Christmas is worth doing.”
Claire got involved with the project as a close friend of hers works for Manchester Youth Zone, explaining how her passion for the charity became infectious.
Hannah Wright is the development manager at Manchester Youth Zone and explains a little more about their festive project. “We have identified a number of families of young people who normally attend the Youth Zone, who would generally be on free school meals during term times. The idea is that we would like to put together hampers of donated gifts, food and presents to make their Christmas a little bit better.”
Once to gifts have been donated, the charity invite the families that they work with into the centre and let them choose from the collection. This way, the parents can wrap the presents and give them to their children from themselves.
The collection continues until Sunday 15th December.