Our Christmas Hamper Appeal for underprivileged families has really pulled at the heart strings of the community this year.
Now in its fourth year, the appeal - sponsored by the Express and run by the Rotary Club of Wakefield Chantry and the Community Awareness Programme (CAP) - started as an attempt to bring festive cheer to families who might otherwise not be able to enjoy the season.
In 2014, the appeal collected and packed 630 hampers, which increased to 828 in its second year. In 2016, we reached an amazing total of 1,053 - a figure we are looking to achieve again this December.
This week we had some great support from the 25th Wakefield (St Johns) Scout Group and the 15th Wakefield New Mill Cubs. The scouts, aged from ten to 14, decided to support CAP as part of their Community Impact and Personal Challenge badges. The children created posters and flyer, collected items from their extended family, knocked on doors in their local neighbourhood, politely asking for donations, and got their friends involved.
Scout Barnaby Bates approached his school council and asked if the food collected at the harvest festival could be donated to CAP while Lennie Standley spent time writing to local food shops asking for donations. The Co-op in Outwood, Premier stores in Outwood and One Stop in St John’s all agreed to help.
Group leader Laura Stephenson said: “All the scouts have worked very hard on this project and, as scout leaders, we are all very proud of what they managed to achieve in four weeks.”
The New Mill cubs group also collected food from friends and family - enough for six hampers, which they packed themselves at the CAP centre on Market Street.
Chris Lavell, the pack leader, said: “Scouting is all about helping each other and giving back to the local community. When we get the chance to help and support the elderly, vulnerable and less fortunate it makes scouting more worthwhile.”
Packing is now underway and the hampers are being delivered to the Children First Hubs in Wakefield, Castleford, Hemsworth and Normanton.
They will then be given to families in need of support.
Call CAP centre manager Kevin Dobson on 01924 381119 for more information.