Cheltenham-based charity CCP are concerned that disadvantaged people in Gloucestershire will go without this Christmas due to a lack of donations. Each year, the charity creates Christmas hampers for families and individuals who may struggle financially over the festive period. This year the charity aims to raise £100,000 worth of food and gifts, but have found this target difficult to reach.
Amongst the recipients are the elderly, families on low incomes and those who receive benefits. The hampers, worth around £65 each, contain food and drinks that will last up to three weeks.
Along with a substantial fall in donations compared to last year, the County Community Project has received a great deal of food that is already past its sell-by date. CCP’s Corporate and Events Fundraiser Chris Knight said, “Even though it is donated to us, and it goes towards the grand total of foods donated, it’s something we can’t use, so we need even more food to make up for the out of date food that we otherwise would’ve had.”
Over 200 volunteers give up their time to help sort through food and gift donations every year, along side a special gift-giving programme for the children of the disadvantaged families already in the scheme. CCP works alongside different local agencies to recommend families to receive Christmas gifts, which are largely given to children. Almost 2,000 gifts are donated to these families each year.
The Hamper Scamper appeal has become huge in recent years. What started out as a Christmas lunch for 12 young and vulnerable people 13 years ago has become a scheme that benefits hundreds. The scheme also aims to prevent the recipients from getting into debt and starting the new year in the red.