More than 110,000 Christmas presents have been delivered to vulnerable and disadvantaged children across London over the past decade, thanks to the Met’s annual Christmas Tree Appeal.
Each year, kind-hearted Londoners donate money and buy gifts for children across the Capital who would otherwise go without at Christmas.
Over the past 10 years, a staggering 116,000 presents have been bought and distributed to children aged from one-week to 17 years old being cared for by foster parents, in residential care homes, refuges, hospitals or from low-income families.
Kindness goes a long way and this has certainly been the case with our appeal. Having first launched in 2011, it has only grown in popularity. In its first year, 230 gifts were gathered for London’s children and this snowballed to 22,000 gifts by 2019.
Last year, despite moving online due to the pandemic, the appeal smashed all previous records for funds raised, with the public donating a phenomenal £155,500.
Once again, the Met is hoping to sprinkle some festive cheer with the return of its 2021 appeal, with this year being particularly special as it marks 10 years of success.
At 5pm on Tuesday, 23 November, our Christmas Tree Appeal went live when the Commissioner and the winner of this year’s schools poster competition, eight-year-old Emmanuelle Barakat, hit the lights on the Met’s Christmas tree at New Scotland Yard. The Met Police Choir gathered for carols around the tree. From this point, until Thursday, 23 December, the public is invited to Give a Gift via our website or donate a sum of money so that we can buy them on your behalf.
Commissioner Cressida Dick, said: “I am incredibly proud of what the Met’s Christmas Tree Appeal has achieved over the past decade and it is a cause close to my heart. To think we have helped deliver well over 100,000 gifts in that time is extraordinary – that’s a lot of smiles on children’s faces.
“Christmas is a time for giving, and who more worthy of receiving that generosity than children who may find this season difficult. No child should ever have to go without.
“The generosity Londoners show each and every year when supporting our appeal is amazing, especially when you consider the trying times we have faced in the pandemic, and the Met is hugely grateful to all those who take part in our bid to spread a little Christmas cheer.
“Your actions will make sure that thousands of children across London, who would not have received a present at Christmas, have something special to open on the day.”
While Christmas is a time of joy for many, for the 800,000 children living in poverty in London, this period can be particularly difficult.
This year, teaming up with The Childhood Trust, we are aiming to make sure presents are delivered to 17,000 children across the city’s 32 boroughs.
After the appeal draws to a close on Thursday, 23 December, social workers will hand-deliver the presents directly to the children’s homes. After the gifts have been distributed, all remaining funds raised through the appeal will be directed to local youth projects operating essential support services for disadvantaged children and young people across all London boroughs.
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