We’re very excited that Volunteer Centre Sutton has been selected to participate in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2019, the UK’s largest match funding campaign. Last year, the Big Give Christmas Challenge raised over £13 million for participating charities. Our fundraising aim for 2019 is to support young care leavers in Sutton this Christmas and beyond. Christmas for care leavers can be a very difficult time of year. We are helping to raise funds for The Christmas Day Dinner Sutton 2019 to create a very special day for people who may never have had that experience before or have had very negative experiences at Christmas. The Christmas Dinner movement is the brainchild of poet and care leaver, Lemn Sissay:
‘Many care leavers are sat in flats, B&Bs and hostels, away from family, or sofa-surfing, and some are indeed living on the streets on their own at Christmas. Christmas is a reminder of everything they never had… I know because I’ve shared their experiences… But since 2013, thanks to passionate groups of volunteers supported by generous donations, we’ve been able to put on scrumptious Christmas meals and create a magical day to remember… The Christmas Dinners will be a life-changing and life-saving experience.’ Lemn Sissay
The days are celebratory and special. Guests have an amazing meal, special gifts and a fun, supportive day surrounded by positivity. Sutton is one of only 3 London boroughs hosted a Christmas Day Dinner this year and the event is entirely organised by a group of passionate volunteers. As well as fundraising, we will also be recruiting more volunteers to help out just before and on the big day itself.
We are calling our campaign “The Gift That Keeps On Giving” because we are also fundraising to provide more mentoring support to Sutton’s young care leavers as well as skills based training activities designed and led by young people leaving care to equip them and support them into independent living. This work will be delivered by our MAPS project which provides mentoring and advocacy support to vulnerable children and young people in the London Borough of Sutton.
How can I help?
- Be ready to make an online donation during The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2019 (3rd – 10th December): Donations made to our project via theBigGive.org.uk from 12pm on Tuesday 3rd December to 12pm on Tuesday 10th December will be doubled. One donation, twice the impact.
- Buy a gift for a young care leaver from The Christmas Day Dinner Sutton 2019 amazon wishlist: You can find this wishlist here so please think of our young people when you are doing your Christmas shopping and add an extra pressie or two into your shopping baskets this year. Presents are just one part of the day but nothing beats the smiles and reactions of the young people when they are opening their presents and realise that they have been held in people’s thoughts.
- Volunteer for the Christmas Day Dinner Sutton 2019: we’ll need helpers on the day itself (25th December) but we’ll also need helpers in the run-up so if you're spending Christmas Day with your own family but would still like to help there will be some fun and festive opportunities!. Find out more and register your interest.