Time for giving

PUBLISHED: 16:33 21 December 2006 | UPDATED: 13:42 04 May 2010

CHRISTMAS PRESENT: Shanice and Harvey Fairweather receive gifts from Blue Donkey’s operations director, 
Robbie Rouse. 
Photo: CHRIS 
MERCER

CHRISTMAS PRESENT: Shanice and Harvey Fairweather receive gifts from Blue Donkey's operations director, Robbie Rouse. Photo: CHRIS MERCER

FAMILIES whose Christmas looked set to be wrecked by the collapse of savings firm Farepak will enjoy some festive cheer thanks to efforts of two Soham companies and the Ely Standard. And last week, 20 children joined their parents to receive gifts generou

FAMILIES whose Christmas looked set to be wrecked by the collapse of savings firm Farepak will enjoy some festive cheer thanks to efforts of two Soham companies and the Ely Standard.

And last week, 20 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 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.

Last week 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 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: "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."

n Letter - Page 6

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