After speaking with some of the people he supports, Teddington based manager Matthew Campbell discovered it was highly likely that as a result of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions that many would be alone on Christmas day.

Keen to spread some much-needed festive cheer, Matthew liaised with Kent community support worker Mark Stone and Helen Lawrence, manager at The Donation station charity shop in Folkestone.  

Together they set about organising a Christmas morning Zoom session packed with festive games and activities including carol singing and a special guest appearance from the big man in red himself.

Inspired by the commitment of Matt and colleagues, the charity’s fundraiser Fabia Dimant decided to undertake a fundraising push to put together festive care packages for not only the people that would be alone, but also the support staff that were working on Christmas day.

Fabia’s determined efforts saw her raise over £650 to put towards the care packages, which were supplemented by generous corporate support from Haribo, Greggs, Montezuma’s and Kontidor. This shared spirit meant the team were able to put together 78 gift bags: 53 for the people the charity supports, and another 25 bags for their care workers. 

We all know how difficult this year has been for so many people, probably even more so for people in our sector. The thought that some of these people would be spending Christmas alone, or away from family and loved ones, just didn’t sit right with us. At United Response we think of ourselves as a family of sorts and thanks to Fabia’s help it just seemed like the obvious thing to do!”

Matthew Campbell, Team Manager at United Response’s Enterprise hub in Teddington