Foundation supports Westminster residents with Christmas Programmes
In December the Sir Simon Milton Foundation partnered with Westminster City Council and the Victoria Business Improvement District (BID) to help deliver gifts to those most in need over the festive period. Together, we:
- delivered 800 Christmas hampers to some of the most lonely and isolated older people in Westminster
- supported some of the most disadvantaged younger people and families in need by donating a total of £10,000 gift vouchers
Christmas can be one of the most difficult times of the year for those who already face challenges or might be struggling with loneliness. Since 2013 the Sir Simon Milton Foundation has delivered over 3,400 Christmas hampers to people aged over 65, identified by Westminster City Council as being vulnerable, lonely or isolated.
This year, in partnership with Westminster City Council and the Victoria BID we delivered 800 hampers across the City. Thes were delivered by local volunteers from the Westminster Connects team, as well as Westminster City Council staff, Councillors and Leader of Westminster City Council, Cllr Adam Hug. Each hamper included a selection of festive treats including mince pies, cheese biscuits, Christmas pudding and a bottle of wine.
(Top left and bottom right: Matthew Sykes, SSMF Chief Executive with hamper recipients; Top right: Westminster Connects Volunteer Team; Cllr Glen and Cllr Wilkinson with a hamper recipient)
The Foundation worked in partnership with Westminster City Council’s Family Services team to identify Care Leavers who would benefit from our support. Care Leavers are aged 18-24 and will very often find themselves alone with no family to visit during the festive break. We gave 100 care leavers a £25 shopping voucher so they could afford to buy themselves something special to enjoy over the Christmas period.
The Family Services team also identified 150 families in need who we supported. Families that are already struggling with poverty, and often with other problems too, struggle even more at Christmas with the pressure of providing a special Christmas meal and gifts. We gave each family in need a £50 shopping voucher to allow them to buy either food or presents for a chance to celebrate a better Christmas.
"I am completely swept away by the vouchers, I was just thinking how I was going to do the big Christmas shop next week. The vouchers are going to make such a huge difference to Christmas for us and I'll even be able to get the girls some more presents. I didn't want to break down and weep in front of you, but please know that I was close. Thank you so much."