As a child Christmas meant the mysterious delivery of presents down the chimney into my sack and the excitement of tearing off wrapping paper to see what Santa had brought me. Later in life the pleasure of watching my own children and now grand children doing exactly the same thing gives me an equally big thrill.
This year due to the impact of the Covid-19 virus there will be more people and families for whom Christmas and the new year will be a challenging time. For many here in Bridport the months furloughed, jobs lost and incomes seriously impacted upon mean that Christmas will be very different for them. Having the ability to provide for your family so seriously impacted upon not only means having to reduce your spending in order to attempt to make ends meet but can also lead to serious mental stress.
A report by charity End Child Poverty in 2019 estimated that around thirty per cent of under-16s in and around Bridport are now living below the breadline. That is equivalent to nine children in a class of 30. Twelve months on the impact of the pandemic will undoubtedly have increased this figure.
It was for this reason that I nominated the Cupboard Love Food Bank and The Burrough Harmony Centre as my two charities when I became Bridport Town Mayor in May. Both charities have seen a significant increased call on their services, and as the impact of the pandemic will continue to be felt for some time, the services they provide will become a lifeline for even more people and families.
I was extremely touched this week when a couple in their 80’s contacted me to tell me they would like to donate their winter fuel allowance money to my charities. For them the winter fuel allowance is the icing on their cake and as such they are able to live comfortably without it. Many would simply pocket the money but to their credit this couple have put others first and in doing so have shown me and I hope you the true meaning of Christmas.
I am going to follow their example and I ask you to give due consideration to making your own contribution towards these most valuable charities that are doing so much to support so many at the moment. I know that not every one who reads this benefits from the winter fuel allowance and for many of those who do, it provides a lifeline when having to choose whether to put the heating on or not.
This Christmas I am asking you to think of those who through no fault of their own are now having to make use of the Cupboard Love Food Bank and The Burrough Harmony Centre and join that amazing couple in making a donation to help ensure that they will continue to be there when someone needs their help.
Your donation will support the day to day operation of both charities and in addition contribute towards improving the services they provide by contributing towards achieving the following targets:
CUPBOARD LOVE – need to raise £3000 to purchase a purpose built food storage unit.
BURROUGH HARMONY CENTRE – need to raise £3000 to purchase the laptop computers and smartphones desperately needed to support the delivery of their services remotely.
You can do this by electronic bank transfer to:
Bank: Barclays Bank
Sort code: 20-26-62
Account no.: 80036552
Account name: Bridport Town Council
Quoting reference: Mayor’s Charities
or via the link below:
On behalf of those whose Christmas and New Year will be made more tolerable by your generosity I thank you.
A Happy Christmas and a joy filled 2021.