YMCA Thames Gateway have been working hard to distribute hampers and gifts to those in need over the festive period.  The charity, which serves some of the most vulnerable members of the community in Greenwich, Romford and Dartford, is providing essential hampers for families facing food poverty.  They are also providing gifts for the young people they support and those experiencing isolation.

YMCA ran a number of fundraising initiatives, including a community crowdfunding campaign calling on the local community for support.  The campaign raised over £1000 and a number of organisations including Bericote Powerhouse, National Grid, Woolwich Rotary, Kent Community Foundation and Dartford Lions also donated over £10,000 between them.

Hampers which are filled with staple items such as cereal and pasta as well as treats including Christmas puddings, mince pies and chocolates, and gifts will be distributed this week, as follows:

Royal Borough of Greenwich: gifts for residents/children, 116 family hampers including gifts for children

Bexley: gifts for nursery children

Dartford: gifts for nursery and after school club children, gifts for residents/children, 150 family hampers including gifts for children

Romford: gifts for residents, gifts for nursery and after school club children, gifts for Senior Citizens and members with serious health conditions

YMCA Thames Gateway’s Fundraising Manager, Emma Middleton said: “we have been providing support to vulnerable members of the community since the start of the pandemic and have seen a sharp rise in families needing our support, particularly in the last few days with 15 children being referred just this weekend!

“I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the campaign or volunteered to pack and deliver gifts for their support at this difficult time. It has been amazing to see our community pull together in this way.”

If you would like to make a donation to the charity, visit: https://ymcatg.org/donate

YMCA Thames Gateway operates across several boroughs including Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Dartford, Greenwich, Bexley and Ashford. As a local charity, YMCA Thames Gateway has been serving the community for over 130 years. Whilst their focus is on young people, they work with all members of the community in the belief that everyone should be able to reach their full potential, regardless of their background.

Find out more about YMCA Thames Gateway at www.ymcatg.org.