ON a freezing night punctuated by carol singers and mulled wine, Lady Mayoress Samantha Bowman lit up 2017’s Give a Gift Christmas trees.
Cheapside has done away with the traditional baubles and tinsel this year, instead opting for decorations with a bit more of a ‘feel good’ factor as part of an annual gift and donation drive.
Give a Gift trees are alternatively furnished with little paper tags, directing locals to the City of London Police website, where they can help deliver some festive cheer to kids who don’t have much to smile about this winter.
The scheme is run in partnership by City Police, the City Corporation, the Cheapside Business Alliance, and Richard House Children’s Hospice in a bid to brighten up Christmas for poorly children based in the City with presents and days out.
A spokesperson for Richard House said: “We are delighted that people have the option to make an online donation to support seriously ill children this Christmas. We are very grateful to City of London Police and Cheapside Business Alliance for involving us.
“The children we work with have complex and specific health needs. Generous donations from the Christmas tree project mean that we can source gifts and toys that suit these needs so that they can enjoy the festive season too.”
Small £5 donations will be used to buy things like Christmas card making kits, allowing kids to create something special for their families.
Larger donations of £10 and £25 will help fund seasonal goodies to meet children’s dietary needs and special adaptive toys, while £50 could send a child and their family to a pantomime.
Ian Dyson, City of London Police Commissioner, said: “I am hugely proud to bring the Give a Gift Christmas tree project to the City of London for the second time.
“We all know that Christmas is a time for giving and if you can, please take a tag and add one more present to your shopping list for a child in need of help and protection, or those in care.
“I am sure that the generosity of all those who live and work in the Square Mile will mean that every child will have a present to open.”