Farepak children collect their gifts

PUBLISHED: 13:19 15 December 2006 | UPDATED: 13:39 04 May 2010

The children collect their gifts

The children collect their gifts

EXCITED youngsters, whose Christmas looked set to be wrecked by the Farepak collapse, found festive cheer thanks to a fantastic business partnership. Twenty children joined their parents to receive gifts generously donated by residents and businesses who

EXCITED youngsters, whose Christmas looked set to be wrecked by the Farepak collapse, found festive cheer thanks to a fantastic business partnership.

Twenty children joined their parents to receive gifts generously donated by residents and businesses who rallied to support a call for help.

Soham firms, Blue Donkey and Budgens, stepped in when 30 families across the region were hit after the festive hamper and gifts company went bust in October.

When the Ely Standard highlighted the families' story exclusively on its front page, the companies worked to save Christmas.

Staff at Blue Donkey in the High Street opened up their offices to collect gifts and together with Jonathan and Rebecca James from Budgens donated £300 in vouchers to pay for Christmas dinners.

After a fantastic response to the gift collection, Blue Donkey's offices were full of presents for the youngsters and the staff added more by donating their Secret Santa gifts to the pile.

The youngsters called into the offices to collect their gifts and thank everyone who had worked to save their Christmas.

Blue Donkey's Operations Director, Robbie Rouse, said: "The children seemed really happy with their gifts which was the main thing.

"A couple of local businesses also brought gifts that they had been collecting and we were able to take some money we had been given and buy more from a local shop which also donated extra ones."

Farepak agent, Susie Holt, who had collected money from 28 of the families saving throughout the year to buy Farepak vouchers for Christmas gifts, said: "The children were delighted with everything they received.

"We can't thank these companies enough. They did a really good job. They went out of their way to make Christmas special for us.

"One of the young lads got a lovely CD walkman. He was absolutely thrilled. I hope now it will be a lovely Christmas for everyone despite what has happened.

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