Parcels of hope

Deliveries bring seasonal joy to families in need

A LIVERPOOL community has Christmas signed, sealed and delivered after making sure children and families in need get something special this festive season.

In recent days, big-hearted volunteers in Cressington have been putting together special hampers that will help families and individuals over the Christmas period.

The project has been co-ordinated by staff from Liverpool’s ComMutual, which is the charitable arm of Liverpool Mutual Homes.

Using cash from Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson’s Hardship Fund, the team has been out buying essential items and clothes to go into the parcels.

Ward councillors, local schools, ComMutual and other organisations all made referrals into the project, identifying local people in need of support.

ComMutual managing director Kate Shone, explains: “We have gathered information from our tenants about who is in the most need this Christmas and we have been able to establish exactly what items people need. We have found that people have been hit hard by such things as the rollout of Universal Credit, so demand for help is higher than ever before. For many people, to know that they have support with food, fuel and everyday items is one less thing to worry about at what can be a very stressful time of year.”

Kate added: “This has been a fantastic initiative that will make a real difference to people in need in the community this year.”

In total, 66 hampers have been put together, which contain food, items of clothing, toiletries, shopping vouchers and a cash contribution towards household bills. Toys and games for the hampers were donated by the L6 Community Centre.

One of the biggest items on the list has been children’s pyjamas and the team has provided 84 pairs that will now be sent out.

Emma Costello, who is a Community Investment Officer with ComMutual, has been out and about delivering the parcels.

“They have been really well received,” said Emma. “Everyone has been really grateful for the support they have received and it’s been nice to bring a little bit of cheer to people.”

Speaking on behalf of the local ward councillors, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Lynnie Hinnigan, said: “This is the second year CoMmutual have coordinated this event for us and they have done a fantastic job at a really difficult time of the year when families are feeling the strain. It has been a real community effort that has shown once again that in Liverpool, we really do look after our own. It is sad to think that collections like this are still needed in the 21st Century, but the dedication and commitment of everyone who has given up their time to help out has been phenomenal.”

Pic cap:

Christmas Presents: Cressington ward councillors Lynnie Hinnigan and Tricia O’Brien with Kate Shone and ComMutual staff members Emma Costello, Angela Vaz, Mandy Taylor and Claire Lomas.