Over the festive period, the Oasis Children’s Charity prepared food hampers for vulnerable families and children in Elmbridge and the surrounding areas. Members of the community volunteered their time to organise and pack the hampers over a two-day period.
The Oasis Children’s Charity raised an incredible £66,000 through their Christmas Appeal which was launched by trustees Amna Boheim and Sian Marshall. The donations raised funded the resources and supplies for the Christmas Hampers which volunteers worked tirelessly to organise throughout December.
In response to the donations, the charity commented on social media, ‘the community around is so generous and supportive’.
People from the local community gave up their time to sort the fresh food and treats for families to enjoy on Christmas Day. Many of the volunteers were from St Andrew’s Church Youth Group and teachers, children and parents from Danes Hill School, a prep school in Oxshott.
The Oasis Children’s Charity was founded in 1996 by Caroline Edwards who recognised that cuts to Surrey’s social and children’s services would create a huge vacuum in support, leaving vulnerable families in the Elmbridge area with no-one to turn to. Oasis was established as a drop-in community outreach organisation, supporting families in the local area.
Caroline Edwards addressed supporters on social media and wrote, ‘this has been our biggest and most visible appeal to date. The response from the community has been both humbling and magnificent… funds enable us to provide fresh food Christmas hampers and children’s Christmas gifts to the families supported by Oasis and to the families referred to us by our local schools, playgrounds voluntary organisations and churches. None of this could have been possible without the incredible support of the community’.
Pupils from Danes Hill School were eager to support the charity, one of the school’s families dropped off 100 chocolate cakes for the hampers which they had made at home, these were distributed into the hampers for families to enjoy on Christmas Day.
One of the volunteers, Laura Woods, a Year 3 teacher from Danes Hill School, invited staff members to volunteer and commented, ‘It really is a team effort with volunteers raising donations at events, local supermarkets and greengrocers donating vegetables and dried goods and many people from the community volunteering to help sort the vegetables, organise dried goods, pack the hampers and deliver them to the families. The charity and its volunteers are invaluable to the local community’.
Maxine Shaw, Head of Danes Hill School commented, ‘The Danes Hill School community joined hundreds of others in supporting the Oasis Children’s Charity over the festive season, it was a delight to see teachers, pupils and parents volunteering their time for such an incredible cause’.