The Christmas Appeal

16/12/19: The final word!

Community gift to meet 1,900 requests for presents for Children this Christmas

Present and food hamper requests reached an all-time high this year, with the Kids Inspire Christmas Appeal gifting presents to over 1,900 children and 285 food hampers to local families.

Now in its ninth year, the aim of the appeal has always been to make a child smile at Christmas that might not have without that present under the Christmas tree.

This year, the Appeal has seen an overwhelming nomination response, with professionals returning an increase of 171% requests compared with those gifted last year. 700 nominations came from Social Workers for children in care.

Vicky Haylock, Operations Manager for Kids Inspire said: “As with all things at Kids Inspire, our Christmas Appeal started with a child at the centre, a child who we knew wouldn’t quite have the Christmas they deserve. This year in particular has seen a bittersweet rise in numbers for the appeal, we could speculate that Kids Inspire are becoming more well known in the community and trusted by professionals, but likewise the rise could suggest that the need for support, particularly at Christmas time, is on the increase.

“Whatever the reason for more than double the nominations compared to 2018, we have been delighted by the local community and their positive, heart-warming response! We had gifts from young children donating presents from a recent birthday party (after hearing about the appeal on BBC Essex); to individual local community appeals – one that was run by 6-year old Darcey from Burnham-on-Crouch; to schools such as Great Baddow High School.”

Manda Burdon and Linda Williams head up the charity work at Great Baddow High School, said:

“Not only did Santa deliver a sack of gifts for some of the teens in need at the school, but as a school we wanted to be able to reach out into the local community to support local families in need at this time of year. We were proud to have donated 100 presents and 14 hampers to children who are supported by Kids Inspire. We are thrilled that our small efforts will make a difference to young lives this Christmas. It’s such a wonderful generous thing… our hearts feel full.”

Another big part of the Christmas Appeal is the wrapping and delivering,

Vicky Haylock went on to say: “The Christmas Appeal simply wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for our volunteer elves that generously gift their time to wrapping, delivering and generally supporting the appeal logistically. We have been amazed at the response this year and hope that all children and families that have been gifted will smile widely.”

Overall, the Christmas Appeal saw support from 99 volunteers, who between them gifted 413 hours – an increase of 65% compared to 2018.

One young local volunteer from Chelmsford, who was a finalist in Britain’s Got Talent in 2017, Harry Gardener said: “I’m here because no matter the circumstances everyone should have a good Christmas.”

This years’ Christmas Appeal campaign featured a little boy that had told his Health Visitor last year that Santa was poorly, the family were is such a desperate state that Blessing, mother of two from Wickham Crescent, Chelmsford said:

“Last Christmas was a particularly difficult year for our family, all due to unexpected circumstances. I broke the sad news to my three and six-year-old boys that Santa was ill, and we didn’t even put up a Christmas tree as I had nothing to put under it.”

That was when the family’s Health Visitor, Lisa, had visited and Blessing’s youngest son retold the story about Santa being poorly. Lisa didn’t want this to be true, so went out of her way to secure gifts from the Kids Inspire Christmas Appeal.

In response to this kind gesture, Blessing said: “The day the presents arrived we were all in tears they were the only gifts under the tree – which we had put up in thanks – it meant so much to us all.  I could see the pure joy my boys felt in their eyes as they unwrapped their present each on Christmas Day. Thank you to the Kids Inspire Christmas Appeal and to all those who gifted in one way or another.” 

Bond Residential brought in a number of additional gifts for the appeal and went on to tell us that Kids Inspire will be their charity of the year for 2020!

Gift recipients are aged between 0-18 and nominations are sought from local professionals working with children and young people; Teachers, Social Workers, Family Support Officers, and the clinical team at Kids Inspire too. The appeal is still trying to support last-minute nominations.

To stay up to date with all things Kids Inspire and to be ahead of the Christmas Appeal in 2020, which usually starts in October, the Kids Inspire newsletter is a great way to be informed; https://kidsinspire.org.uk/join-our-mailing-list/

Final thanks to everyone involved, no matter what stage your support came.

Gifts Donate Amazon Wish List


Today has seen us officially close the Christmas Appeal for 2019!

We still need to count up and complete final deliveries before being able to share final figures from the Christmas Appeal, but one thing is for sure – we could not have done it without you all!

Thank you all once again for whatever your involvement in the appeal has been. From social media shares and comments to gifts to volunteering it has been an incredible success and this is once again, thanks to the Kids Inspire Community!

Everything that has gone into the Christmas Appeal goes such a long way to making a positive difference in young persons life. See what one Social Worker has to say below…

“Some of the children I work with are not going to have some the things that they should have over this period. Especially with the hardship looming with the universal credit changeover. Additionally, there are families we work with that have left domestic violence and their children have nothing and are living out of plastic drawers. These presents and hampers will be a really welcome gift for these children.”

– Keisha, social worker, West Essex.

The final tea, of volunteer wrappers & a cheque towards KI Services


We’re on the final countdown today for the Christmas Appeal and with the end in sight, we will soon be ready to start the IMMENSE job of thanking everyone that has been involved. Certificates will be issued to everyone that gifted to the appeal (if you left your email address) and a general ‘thank you’ for all those we don’t.

Plus if you’ve gifted your time a certificate of appreciation will be winging its way to you too! We’ve got all bases covered.

Today has been yet another day of fun for volunteers who are still busy wrapping gifts and hampers for the final few children that have been nominated.

Bretts Aggregates are our corporate volunteers today and they have shown great enthusiasm ranging from: picking up hampers from local schools, selecting gifts for children to wrap and just generally keeping up the Christmas spirit at HQ.


Day 5 of wrapping, delivering and gifting and it’s all bundled into one!

As most of you will know by now, we’ve had a huge number of nominations this year. More than double compared to last year. In fact it looks like we’ll finish this year’s appeal after gifting 1,900 children.


Each and every individual, corporate supporter and volunteer has been integral to this whole event. We asked and you all delivered… in your droves! Honestly, Christmas Appeal 2019 has been a bittersweet affair for the Kids Inspire Community. On one hand, we are elated to be making a difference to so many young people this Christmas, and then, on the other hand, we’re sad to see that the need has increased by so much this year.

One local school as gifted as a part of their NCS project, Maxine from the Edith Borthwick school said:

1,900 is a staggering figure and has made us feel very humbled and thankful that we were able to help, albeit in a very small way.  My students are already talking about donating to your charity again next year.

Today we received a number of gifts from many more individuals as well as from some corporate supporters; WES Industrial & Welding supplies, and EPC Coaching.

Thanks to everyone that has got involved in the Christmas Appeal, we couldn’t have done it without you all.


🎄 Christmas Appeal deadline extended for gift drop-offs to Tuesday 10 December 2019🎄

Today has been yet another busy day at HQ, throughout the week deliveries and gift pick ups have been taking place. Thursday was no different and today has been as busy as ever.

Thank you once again to everyone that came in to gift their time today!

👇 Click here for a sneak peak behind the scenes at HQ!👇

Operation elf!


Today was yet another bumper day at Kids Inspire! Many more gifts arrived in response to our BBC Essex and social media appeal for more. We have all been heart warmed at the response and have felt emotional on many occasions. What a great community we truly have!

Once again more volunteers gifted their time to ever-growing Christmas Appeal. Its thanks to all of these wonderful people that this appeal really comes alive.

Listen in to the BBC Essex interview here 👉 BBC Essex



Day 2 of wrapping and the Christmas Appeal team is happy to report that roughly 50% of gifts are wrapped and have been delivered! There is still a very long way to go, and the appeal is getting low on gifts, so if you can more donations will be very welcome!

We know that more is on the way and some absolutely fabulous corporate and individual supporters have surprised us all with making generous gifts (beyond their gift of time!) today!

The Christmas Admin team told us: “Today has been a positive day and our volunteers really have been amazing! One volunteer told me how she felt quite emotional dropping gifts off to a local school!

As well as drop-offs, we’ve had many professionals picking up, one this morning was picking up Essex based teenagers who have this year made a move from care into independent living accommodation – she told me the difference that these gifts would make to them all!”

Today, volunteer elves and donators have included: Ford, Birketts, and many many individuals (again, supporters old and new!)


Operation gift wrap is well and truly underway today!

We have been amazed (once again) at the true spirit of Christmas and just how much individuals, corporate supporters and other organisations are happy to be involved and be a big part of the Christmas Appeal!

More gifts needed!

Our Operations Manager spoke to BBC Essex (tune in tonight at 6pm) in a quest for more gifts! We have been gifted so much already, but the truth is we have received 130% more nominations than in previous years, so there is a much bigger need to fulfil this year than ever before.

We are completely humbled by the community who are so willing to lend a hand and have gifted already, but the need this year has doubled. The Christmas Appeal started nine years ago, and as with all things at Kids Inspire, it started with a child at the centre, a child who we knew wouldn’t quite have the Christmas they deserve – we are calling on everyone who can help to make a real difference to young lives in Essex this Christmas.

Thank you for all you have done already, and here’s to Christmas 2019 and gifting all the children that have been nominated.  

“I’m here because, no matter the circumstances everyone should have a good Christmas.” – Harry Gardener

“I have taken a lot of care choosing from all the gifts to make sure the one I wrap is the right one for each child. I feel ‘attached’ by the time I’ve finished wrapping, especially if it’s presents for a family of children.” Tess, Utilize & Ignite (corporate suppoter)

Today, volunteer elves and donators have included: Kefco (KFC Franchise), Utilize & Ignite, Five Lakes, DH Industries, plus many individual supporters (old & new).


Today at HQ we have seen so many generous supporters! Advent Insurance and Invest ESSEX popped in with hampers, Caterpillar Clubhouse Nursery, Shay’s Smile (another local charity) and sooooo many individuals have brought in gifts galore. Many who have been busy collecting amongst their neighbours and friends. To name just a few, we met today: Nicola, Tracey, Laura, Nikki, Finleigh, Mark, Lucy and Kirsty. THANK YOU all so much!

NOMINATION UPDATE: The Admin team are busy with organising nominations as yesterday was the last day to send in a request. We reported yesterday that we had 600 nominations, but this number has doubled and jumped even further! The appeal is now sourcing gifts for over 1,600 children, so please do gift generously if you can.


HQ today is buzzing with festive cheer! Many organisations and individual gifters have been to see us in Hargrave House to gift us both hampers and toys!

Thanks to Shenfield St Marys School, Shenfield School, We are Polar Creative agency, Teledyne E2V, Emma, Carol & Adrian and of course to everyone else too – there have been so many of you, and we intend to thank everyone that has left their email address with us at reception.

We have a few photos to share of festive visitors at Hargrave today…

Rather than offering a #BlackFriday deal, Lee and We Are Polar Agency went to the shops to buy presents for the Christmas Appeal – Thanks team!

The school Council at Shenfield St Marys decided that they wanted to give back to a local charity and collectively gifted over 50 items! Shenfield St Marys teacher: “We’ve always found the school community to be extra generous when we say it goes to support local families.”

We have been heart-warmed by the response already, so thank you for bringing along festive cheer!

We will be open tomorrow, Saturday 30 November, for our final drop-off day and Hargrave House will be open 10.30 am – 12.30 pm.

Hargrave House, Hollycroft, Great Baddow, CM2 7FW


Today marks the ‘official’ start for the Christmas Appeal! Gifts and hampers can be dropped off at our HQ in Great Baddow from today until Saturday 30 November.

We have already received a delivery of presents and goodies from Foresters Finacial, to get the ball rolling!

Team Foresters and their super volunteers!
Contents from some of the gifted bags!

Additionally, today Kids Inspire received an abundance of boxes from the Edith Borthwick School.

Maxine from the School, said: “The students and staff involved thoroughly enjoyed working on the shoebox appeal and we are thrilled that our boxes will be going to such a good cause. 

Each student put a great deal of care and thought into what should go into each box – we all feel very privileged to have been involved in such a worthwhile project.”

As well as hampers and gifts we are welcoming donations towards the Christmas Appeal. On behalf of all the families the Christmas Appeal is supporting this year, thank you.

Call 01245 348707 or visit us at:

Hargrave House, Molrams Lane, Hollycroft CM2 7TL