I wonder if you were brave enough to tackle the shops this year or if you entered a state of panic, with only a few days left to get it all done. The young people at St Paul’s have not only braved the shops for their own shopping, but this year they’ve taken their shopping one step further.
Hattie Lloyd with her collection for the Besom
Our older youth groups have teamed up with Besom this year to bring some Christmas joy to the teenagers in Camberley who might not be expecting any present this year, by putting together packs of presents for them. Hattie Lloyd, who championed the idea, says “Everyone expects to get presents nowadays at Christmas but not everyone can. You hear about things like Operation Christmas Child that go to other countries but there are a lot of people who have needs right here in this community.”
In October, Diane Marlow spoke in our Harvest service about the work Besom is doing in Camberley. ”When Diane came and spoke to us in a service about producing packs for families in the Camberley area, I thought that there might be teenagers not just adults affected,” says Hattie. Hattie brought the idea of making present packs for the teenagers who Besom worked with to Evening Cell (a youth group at St Paul’s), and from there, the project was born
Hattie says, ”Some people donated items, some people put together packs”. On top of this Hattie got her school on board with the project. “My school was doing a charity choral concert and I nominated the Besom charity as the organisation we were going to give the money to and it was chosen, so we were able to supplement the packs with a further donation!”
With the items contributed and the money raised, we were able to put together five present packs – one for each of the young people Besom told us about. The packs looked great and were filled with a huge variety of presents - from mugs, to bath stuff, shop vouchers and even juggling balls!
Reflecting on the experience, Hattie says that it has been “Great seeing the reception when we spoke to people about it, they seemed excited which was nice to see. And seeing the finished packs was really cool as well.”
Sarah Percival, our Youth Director, reflects ”It’s been brilliant to see the creativity and initiative that’s come from the young people for this. We really hope those packs put a smile on some young people’s faces this Christmas. I can’t wait to see what the St Paul’s Young people come up with next!”