Behind the door of Day 17, we ask you to make a Christmas hamper and deliver it to a neighbour.

Hampers date back to the time of William the Conqueror, when it is reported that they were used to carry treats while travelling.

It was the Victorians who began using them as gifts, often presenting them to their staff at the end of the year. The development of the railways soon made sending perishable goods much easier and so began the tradition of sending hampers full of luxury foods to friends and family at Christmas.[1]

Nowadays, hampers vary from homemade to shop bought, with Christmas hampers selling in Harrods for up to £20,000!

A gift for the needy

Many hampers are made up, not only to provide gifts for our loved ones, but as a way to help families who are struggling during this time of the year. Charities across the country provide hampers full of produce donated by local people to help others put food on the table at Christmas.

Our very own United Response service in Beaconsfield made up packs last winter to give to a group of individuals in sheltered accommodation nearby. They presented the packs during a coffee morning and were invited back to join their regular coffee mornings. Not only were the packs a huge help to the residents who had little money, but it meant the people we support were able to meet new people in their community and create lasting connections.

Create your own hamper

Get the feel-good factor and make up a hamper for your neighbour. Here’s some ideas for what to put inside:

 

Alternatively, you can donate to our social isolation appeal, and help fund community activities and events across the UK.

Natalie Millbank, community and event fundraiser.