Our bustling shopping centres will no doubt get even busier as the festive spending season approaches. But behind the sparkling lights and glitter is hardship for some who are not looking forward to Christmas — simply because they cannot afford even the most basic essentials. It seems hard to conceive in 2014, especially in an apparently affluent part of the country, but there is genuine poverty in the Canterbury district, with many families struggling to make ends meet.
Volunteers at the Canterbury Food Bank, which has been our charity of the year for the last 11 months, are all too familiar with the issue and have seen demand for its support escalate. Together we have launched a Christmas appeal to provide festive hampers for the needy, which we hope you will support. We have also launched the Elf Service in a bid to bring some Christmas cheer to those in need through acts of kindness – either by giving or providing another form of help, like a service. It could be a business offering a case of wine for a pensioners’ lunch, festive decorations for a women’s refuge or providing a Christmas party for a children’s centre. So together let’s make this festive season a little happier for those who are less fortunate.
Herne Bay Gazette, November 20th 2014