Since my appointment to the BUCF committee as the Social Action Officer I have been immediately very keen to get the ball rolling and engage in social work for our community. This festive season BUCF re-introduced the Christmas Hamper Project. Last year it was launched for the first time and led my Jimmy McLoughlin whereby the hampers were donated to The Salvation Army. However, this year I took the decision to donate the hampers to St Basils, a Birmingham-based charity that works with homeless young people. I’ve worked with this charity before and also took part in the sleep-out last year. Below is a film about St Basil’s and the important work that they do for Birmingham:
Although there are still some donations pending, I was able to raise funds through generous contributions from fellow Conservatives, family and friendship circles as well as through a carol singing evening. I then got in contact with St Basil’s to find out what the young people would benefit from this season and drew up a shopping list including toiletries for males and females as well as baby necessities. There were three types of hampers for the mothers and their babies, for the young boys and for the young girls. I spent an evening putting the hampers together and with a bit of creativity making them look festive.
On Christmas Eve, I felt like Father Christmas without the white beard as I went delivering the hampers to 4 different hostels spread across the city. Meeting with the staff and young people of this charity was a great opportunity to hear more about their work and the experiences of the young people.
Giving is a core element of this festive season and I’m glad that BUCF have fulfilled this obligation but, for my part, charitable contributions are not just for Christmas so I thoroughly look forward to working with St Basils and other charities in the New Year 2009!
Have a Happy New Year All and Best Wishes for 2009!