Gift Appeal aims to bring Christmas joy to vulnerable young people

Liverpool residents are being asked to show their legendary generosity to make sure that some of our city’s most vulnerable young people have a present to open this Christmas.

Last week, Liverpool City Council launched its annual staff Christmas Gift Appeal which asks employees to donate items that will be given to young people who are leaving the care system.

Over 100 presents were donated in the appeal’s first few days – but now, for the first time ever, the appeal is being opened up to the wider public.

The annual appeal, which has been run by council staff for the last eight years, ensures that young people who are setting up new lives for themselves as well as other vulnerable young people have at least one present to open during the festive period.

More than 450 young people are currently receiving support and guidance from the council as they move out of the care system to live independently. This number has increased from 176 last year, partly due to the rise in young people seeking asylum. With limited or no family around them, the gift appeal ensures they each receive at least one present at Christmas.

Gifts will also be shared with teenagers from 280 vulnerable families who are currently being helped by the council’s Family Support team.

The appeal is being run via an Amazon Wish List to make it as convenient and Covid-safe as possible for people to make a donation.

Team managers from the council’s Children’s Rights and Participation and Family Support teams have added to the wish list all the items they would like in order to give care leavers and teenagers in vulnerable families a gift. The focus is on older children as it is teenagers who often miss out on receiving a gift in favour of younger children.

Gifts on the list include:

• Aftershave/ perfume
• Body sprays
• Hats, scarves and gloves
• Socks
• Chocolate

There are a range of items available to purchase starting from £3.50 and every contribution will be wrapped and distributed by council staff in time for Christmas.

How it works:

• An Amazon Wish List has been created so you can choose a gift at the touch of a button
• You will need an Amazon account to be able to take part
• Click on the gift(s) you would like to purchase and add them to your basket
• Go to your basket
• Sign into your account
• Select ‘Childrens Rights – Julie Cashin’s Gift Registry Address’ as your delivery address
• Complete your purchase
• Your gift will be dispatched to the delivery address registered by Julie Cashin
• Julie will share donations with the Family Support Team so each receives donations

You can choose your donation here: Amazon Wish List

Councillor Lynnie Hinnigan, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “I am rightly proud of everything that council staff have done in recent years to offer a helping hand to vulnerable young people at this special time of year. Sadly this Christmas we have an unprecedented number being supported, both through our care system and family support services, and making sure each person gets a gift to open on the big day is a challenge. Our Christmas wish is for the people of Liverpool to help us out in any way they can, every box of chocolates, or set of gloves donated will be unwrapped and cherished on Christmas Day.”

Julie Cashin, Children’s Rights and Participation Manager, said: “We are always extremely grateful to our Liverpool City Council family for helping us support some of the most vulnerable young people in our beloved city. It is exciting that the appeal has now gone out to the public. We know Liverpool people are renowned for their generosity and will do whatever they can, during these challenging times, to help out.”

Jane Carrington, Team Manager of the Family Support Team adds: “We would like to say a very big thank you from the family support service to everyone who donates and supports our teenagers, some of whom don’t always receive as many gifts as our younger children. They will really appreciate your kindness especially after such a difficult year.”