JOIN OUR GIV­ING TREE AP­PEAL AND MAKE IT A HAPPY CHRIST­MAS

The Wokingham Paper - - FRONT PAGE - By SALLY BRYANT

THIS year’s Giv­ing Tree Ap­peal has been launched to of­fer you the chance to make a lo­cal child smile this Christ­mas.

For more than 15 years, gen­er­ous Wok­ing­ham peo­ple have dug deep to make sure less for­tu­nate young­sters stay on Santa’s list.

The idea is sim­ple, but it sparkles with the true spirit of the sea­son.

You choose a tag from one of the many Giv­ing Trees across the bor­ough, buy the gift on the tag and re­turn it (un­wrapped) to the tree.

Big-hearted vol­un­teers then go to work to get the presents to lo­cal char­i­ties, which make sure they go to chil­dren whose stock­ings might oth­er­wise have been empty on Christ­mas morn­ing.

Last year, more than 2,500 tags were col­lected and hopes are high Wok­ing­ham folk will be even more gen­er­ous this time around.

Gill Mck­er­nan, from Barnardo’s High Close School, or­gan­ises the ap­peal with a team of vol­un­teers, “es­pe­cially the kind staff at Trans­form Hous­ing”.

They were joined by rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the ben­e­fit­ing char­i­ties and some of the busi­nesses host­ing trees at Tesco in Wok­ing­ham on Sun­day to launch the 2017 ap­peal. Also at the launch was Wok­ing­ham bor­ough mayor Cllr Rob Stan­ton and town mayor Cllr Pe­ter Lucey.

Mrs Mck­er­nan said: “Last year was fan­tas­tic with over 2,500 tags taken from the trees but I have a feel­ing that this year could suc­ceed that num­ber. The ap­peal just gets big­ger and big­ger each year with more venues want­ing to host a tree.

“No child who has asked for a gift through the Giv­ing Tree will go without this Christ­mas. Sup­port­ing the Giv­ing Tree does not mean spend­ing a for­tune. Any present will put a smile on the face of a child at Christ­mas.

“All shop­pers need to do is choose a tag, buy the gift sug­gested and re­turn it, un­wrapped to the place where they col­lected the tag from. I would like to say a huge thank you to PWC who have printed the tags and posters again this year as well as sup­port­ing the ap­peal by buy­ing lots of gifts. Also to all the busi­nesses who are host­ing a tree this year.

“A mas­sive thank you goes to Becky Carter, Com­mu­nity Cham­pion for Tesco in Wok­ing­ham and her col­league Sue Lovell for host­ing the launch on Satur­day and to all the char­i­ties, busi­nesses and the Town and Bor­ough May­ors who at­tended.

“We were all made so very wel­come and re­warded with some tasty re­fresh­ments.”

If you can buy an ex­tra gift to make some­one else’s Christ­mas, find a tree near you and send it with love.

Pic­ture: Phil Creighton

We’re ready! Vol­un­teers and char­i­ties at the launch of this year’s Giv­ing Tree ap­peal at Tesco’s Wok­ing­ham su­per­store. The ap­peal matches presents to chil­dren who would oth­er­wise do without at Christ­mas

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