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Asylum Seekers and Refugees are given the gift of kindness this Christmas

Felicity Tomblin (centre) and helpers at the offices of Refugee Action in Bradford

For the third year running, asylum seekers and refugees have benefitted from the generosity and kindness of the Ilkley and Skipton communities, with each family and every individual child supported by Refugee Action in Bradford receiving a wrapped Christmas gift this festive season.

The Christmas Gift Appeal was once again organised and coordinated by Ilkley mum and volunteer Felicity Tomblin, under the banner of the Wharfedale Refugee Response group, with the aim of bringing some joy and Christmas cheer to the vulnerable families seeking safety in Bradford.

Local schools including All Saints’ Primary, Ashlands’ Primary, Burley Oaks Primary and Skipton Girls’ High School were involved in the appeal with students buying and wrapping age appropriate presents and bringing to the main collection points in the schools.

Furthermore, there was support from local businesses and local residents who were all keen to help people in need.

The result was a collection of 80 large boxes of Christmas presents, packaged by age and gender, which were delivered by Felicity and her team to the offices of Refugee Action in Bradford on Monday 12th December to be allocated to each child and family by Refugee Action volunteers in time for Christmas.

Felicity said: “This has been a huge team effort over the past three weeks with the local community once again showing its incredible generosity and kindness to people they don’t know and I’ve been overwhelmed by the huge number of gifts we’ve received for this appeal.

“It’s really important to me and all the volunteers at Wharfedale Refugee Response to show some warmth and compassion to these families, especially considering all the negativity and untruths reported about the tragic plight of asylum seekers desperately seeking safety at the moment. We particularly wanted to ensure that each of the 400 children supported by Refugee Action has a gift to open this Christmas.

“I continue to be humbled by the community’s continued willingness to help our appeals, especially considering the current cost of living crisis, and I would personally like to thank everyone who donated a gift, promoted the appeal with a school or via the online community, provided me with boxes, collected them from the schools, helped me pack and deliver them to Bradford.”

Christy Bischoff, the Children and Families Project Manager for Refugee Action in Bradford said:

“This will be the first Christmas in the UK for many children we support and this will be the only gift they receive. It is so meaningful that the Ilkley and Skipton communities have come together once again to give a gift as not only are they gratefully received but they are a way of showing someone that they are welcomed and cared about. Thank you for welcoming people when they need it.”

For more information about this appeal and other initiatives, including the Reverse Advent Appeal, please visit the Wharfedale Refugee Response Facebook page or email to join the mailing list:


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