Met Police launch ‘Christmas Tree project 2016’

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In a bid to provide presents for children in care, who otherwise may not receive any gifts this Christmas, the Metropolitan Police have begun their annual campaign, the ‘Christmas Tree Project 2016’.

The campaign works to ensure that many children in care across London will receive a gift this year.

Christmas is a great time for spending quality time with your loved ones, indulging in great food and giving gifts to each other to show your appreciation.

However, many children in care don’t have this luxury, which can make the festive period a particularly hard time for them.

Last year, the campaign was successful in providing more than 11,000 presents for children in care, including hospital care and victims of crime, after raising a total of £9,000 donations.

However, the Met Police say this year they want to do even better.

The scheme works by providing Londoners who want to get involved with the option to either buy a present(s) for one or more children, which they drop off at their local police station.

[pullquote align=”right”]“Christmas is a time for giving and who more worthy of receiving that generosity, then children in care who can find this season difficult.”[/pullquote]Alternatively, volunteers can use the just giving fund site to donate the desired amount of money to the campaign, which will also go towards buying the presents.

Once volunteers have opted into the scheme and provide their name and email online, they will be allocated at random with a child of any age to buy a present for, which ensures all children get a present.

The campaign, which was started in 2014 by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, was inspired by a similar scheme he witnessed in Sheffield 32 years ago.

At the time Sir Bernard said: “This is a simple idea in the spirit of Christmas. A child in need can be helped by a simple gift from someone they have never met. That person gains no recognition other than knowing they have shown some care for a child that needs a little more love than most.”

Hogan-Howe continues to encourage the campaign, stating this year: ”Christmas is a time for giving and who more worthy of receiving that generosity, then children in care who can find this season difficult.’

“We are grateful to all those who took part in last year’s campaign to spread some Christmas cheer and we hope to do the same this year.”

So far the campaign is off to a great start, generating support from people across London via Twitter who are sharing and promoting the campaign through the hashtag #metxmastree.

The campaign has also generated support by former X-Factor contestant and singer Fleur East who said: “I am so pleased to be supporting and joining Commissioner Hogan-Howe’s Metropolitan Police Christmas Tree project this year.”
East attended the official launch and turning on of the lights of the tree which stands outside of the Hyde Park Police Station on November 9.




Click here to support the campaign with a gift or a donation.

Featured image by Johnny Lai via Flickr CC

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