Christmas hamper collection aims to bring festive cheer to young care leavers and asylum seekers in Warwickshire - The Leamington Observer

Christmas hamper collection aims to bring festive cheer to young care leavers and asylum seekers in Warwickshire

A FORMER foster carer from Warwickshire is creating Christmas hampers for young people who are either asylum seekers or have left care.

Norma Wilson is collecting hampers filled with goodies donated by residents, community groups, charities, businesses and football clubs.

The resident started putting together Christmas hampers for care leavers 25 years ago in Rugby. Since then it has grown each year and she now provides hampers for young care leavers and asylum seekers across the county. They include everything from biscuits, toiletries, long life food, mince pies and more.

She aims to give out 230 hampers and an additional 50 for those with babies or young children, including clothing, essential items and knitted toys made by a local group. This is a huge help for many young care leavers and asylum seekers who may not be able to afford presents for their children.

Norma said: “After such a difficult year, spreading some festive cheer is more important now than ever. I’ve been amazed with how many donations we’ve received, I think it’s the most we’ve ever got.

“I just think this year must have been awful for so many of the young care leavers and asylum seekers. Many of them have no money and no family and then with the pandemic they can’t even go out, you can’t imagine it. Just to be able to brighten up their day with a hamper is something that hopefully brings a smile to their face and makes a small difference.”

To make sure every care leaver has treats to enjoy over Christmas, the council is also funding up to £3,000 worth of food and presents. Warwickshire County councillor, Jeff Morgan, spokesman for Children’s Services, said: “The effort and contribution that Norma has made to our care leavers and asylum seekers across Warwickshire over the last 25 years is simply outstanding.

“At Warwickshire County Council we put children at the heart of everything we do, what Norma does is such an amazing example of this. The hampers quite literally take over her whole house – her commitment to providing something special for Christmas for vulnerable young people is incredible and we cannot thank Norma enough for everything she does.”

Visit to find information on care leavers, young asylum seekers and fostering.


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