Monmouthshire’s Children’s Social Services have been overwhelmed once again thanks to the kindness of people across the county. The Christmas Wishes Appeal 2020 has raised over £7,000 to help bring some festive cheer to vulnerable children, young people and care leavers in Monmouthshire.

Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, this year’s Christmas Wishes Appeal has once again seen an overwhelming response from kind and generous residents across the county.  Donations have come in from residents, Monmouthshire community councils, councillors and staff, the Monmouthshire Building Society and Western Power (Swales) ) via a specific bid for funding through their ‘We’re In This Together’ appeal.

The kind donations will enable gift cards and vouchers to be purchased for 285 children and young people across the county – helping to bring some festive spirit to those who need it the most. All the gift cards and vouchers will be distributed by a very busy social work team in the run up to Christmas.

This year’s appeal follows a successful campaign in 2019, when dozens of toys, toiletries and gifts were donated by organisations and residents. Due to the pandemic, the team has had to run the appeal differently and it was decided donations of gifts would not be suitable or appropriate this year.

Children’s Services were also delighted to receive community support in the way of food donations to make up nearly 100 Christmas hampers for families most in need. Caldicot and Abergavenny food banks, Overmonnow Primary School, Llanvanches Community Church, social work staff and Asda in Caldicot all donated a wide array of items to make up special festive hampers, which were then delivered by Bridges volunteers.

Cabinet Member for Social Care, Safeguarding and Health, Councillor Penny Jones said:  “This year has been challenging and yet it hasn’t stopped Monmouthshire’s people supporting such a fantastic cause. This wonderful giving at Christmas time demonstrates that people do care and really want to make a difference to vulnerable children, families and care leavers who need it the most. I would like to take this opportunity, and on behalf of Children’s Social Services, to say how incredibly grateful we are for the astounding support received and give our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has donated during this difficult time. Happy Christmas and stay safe.”