Wednesday, 18 December 2019 09:46

Barnet’s Secret Santa appeal for children in need

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Presents are piling up ready to be wrapped and distributed by the team at Young Barnet Foundation headed by Janet Matthewison, chief executive, and Peter Williamson, operations manager Presents are piling up ready to be wrapped and distributed by the team at Young Barnet Foundation headed by Janet Matthewison, chief executive, and Peter Williamson, operations manager
An appeal to provide a Christmas present for children living in poverty across the Borough of Barnet is hoping to distribute well over 300 parcels each containing a gift.

Presents can be purchased online for distribution by the Young Barnet Foundation as part of its Secret Santa Appeal.

Among those to benefit will be children on the Dollis Valley estate who are supported by the Barnet Community Project.

They might receive a craft set, board game or Disney character – just some of the many presents that people can purchase or donate for the target group of children in need aged between three and 14.

The foundation initiated its Christmas gifts for children in poverty last year when over 600 gifts were distributed.

People who want to contribute can either make a financial donation, supply their own present or purchase one via a nominated Amazon list for distribution by the charity.

Janet Matthewison, chief executive of the charity, said there were estimated to be 20,000 children living in poverty across the borough.

In Burnt Oak and Colindale 49.8 per cent of children were found to be in need of help, the highest proportion in the borough, and that compared with 22.8 per cent of children living in the Totteridge ward.

“We hope our Secret Santa appeal can bring a little joy over Christmas to the many disadvantaged children we know are living in our community.

“The presents will be delivered in the run-up to Christmas so that there will be at least something they can open on Christmas Day.”

Children supported by other groups which will be benefit from the Secret Santa appeal include Barnet Carers, Barnet Children in Care, the Grange estate East Finchley and the Grahame Park estate.

Young Barnet Foundation was created four years ago and was the first of eight that have now been established.

The aim of the foundations is to encourage community-based organisations and groups supporting children and encouraging youth enterprises.

We hope our Secret Santa appeal can bring a little joy over Christmas to the many disadvantaged children we know are living in our community.

Currently 190 charities and communities belong to the Barnet foundation and over the last three years local groups have been provided with £320,000 worth of financial support which has been given by donors and benefactors to support space to grow, the foundation’s children and young people’s fund.

One of the latest projects to get support is the community farm being established in a six-acre field next to Totteridge Academy.

Ms Matthewison said the problem faced by the young foundations was that 85 per cent of national funding for disadvantaged children goes to five national organisations and the aim was to find ways to increase local giving in support of disadvantaged children and young people living in the Borough of Barnet.

“Children in need are having to depend on the charitable sector and the aim of the foundations is to help create the infra structure that can help them.”

In order to help target the direction of this work across the borough, the foundation has conducted a local youth survey – 10,000 young people aged from 11 to 19 have been asked to say what they love about Barnet and what they would like to see improved.

The study is being conducted with the help of students at Middlesex University who will carry out data analysis and the findings will be published in April.

Details on how to give a gift or donate to the Secret Santa appeal:
www.youngbarnetfoundation.org.uk/christmascampaign
or email:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or phone: 020 3621 6090

 

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