Hertfordshire County Council provide Christmas gifts for care leavers
Employees from across Hertfordshire County Council have come together to provide Christmas gifts to over 400 young care leavers during the festive season.
As part of their drive to support young people leaving care, staff from across Hertfordshire County Council and companies within Hertfordshire have raised £7,635 in support of the annual Christmas for Care Leavers Appeal.
In previous years staff have donated individual items for young people, and gift boxes have been made up, to ensure they have a present to open on Christmas Day.
This year, due to the impact of COVID-19, Amazon and electronic high street vouchers have been purchased to ensure every care leaver will be able to treat themselves to a gift of their choice.
Many young people leaving care do not have families to support them and have no plans to celebrate Christmas.
However, this year over 20 volunteers from the council have given up their time to prepare and host a number of virtual social events on Christmas Day, including a virtual cook-along, festive quiz and a DJ set.
The Christmas Day events are open to all care leavers, but 50 young people will receive a hamper which includes the cook-along ingredients and some extra treats.
Ingredients for the cook-along have beendonated by Tesco, to use alongside the video created by Oaklands College. Ocado and Tree Heritage Nursery are also supporting the event.
Owen Mapley, Chief Executive, said: “In this extraordinary year, it’s been more important than ever to support our young people and show them that they are not alone.
"I’m hugely grateful to colleagues across the County Council for supporting this care appeal and donating their time for the Christmas Day social.
"My thanks also goes out to our sponsors Tesco, Ocado, Oaklands College and Tree Heritage Nursery for making a difference to our young people.”
To find out about Hertfordshire County Council's pledge to support children and young people in care, click here.