Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year isn’t it? Especially when you get to celebrate it with children and see that magical look on their faces when they see their lovely bright Christmas tree. That is why Family Gateway decided to surprise 23 families that we support who we knew did not have a Christmas tree and provide them with a 6ft decorated tree with twinkling lights.

We had generous cash donations to help purchase some of the trees. One particular family that had fled domestic violence issues had not celebrated Christmas for the last 4 years and when our team delivered the tree, mum actually broke into floods of tears. She could not thank us enough saying that we were “real life Christmas angels making her children’s wishes come true”.

Christmas presents for children who would otherwise have nothing are also important and once again this year, we were supported by Cash for kids Mission Christmas. They provided us with toys for over 80 disadvantaged families that we are currently supporting across our projects and who would have been otherwise waking up to nothing on Christmas morning. The Family Gateway team took on the role of being Santa’s little elves and delivered toys to the disadvantaged families.

The reactions of the parents we helped was quite overwhelming and the team also benefitted from knowing what they were doing was making a ‘real difference’! A very generous donation of gift bags filled with toys was given to us by a lady called Victoria Imrie-Bell. We held 2 Christmas parties for the children one was in North Tyneside at Howdon Community Centre and the other in South Tyneside at Harton Miners Welfare Club. We played games with the families and even Santa made an appearance to make sure every child was given a present. One Grandmother said “she was overwhelmed with the kindness that Family Gateway staff had shown everyone that day.

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