Mum sets target to collect 15,000 Christmas presents for disadvantaged young children­

PUBLISHED: 08:00 25 November 2018

Sara and Khurm Arshad collecting gifts for Every Child Needs Christmas.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Sara and Khurm Arshad collecting gifts for Every Child Needs Christmas. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

A community champion is calling on the public to rally together and give the best gift this Christmas to tens of thousands of disadvantaged children.

Sara and Khurm Arshad collecting gifts for Every Child Needs Christmas.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONSara and Khurm Arshad collecting gifts for Every Child Needs Christmas. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Sara Arshad has launched this year’s Every Child Needs Christmas (ECNC) campaign in a bid to provide children from poorer or troubled background with a present.

The scheme has so far seen more than 25,000 gifts donated in the past five years, with Sara and her family co-ordinating it from their Worle home.

She told the Mercury: “We came up with the idea in 2013 when we were sitting in the living room thinking about all the Christmas shopping we had to do.

“It was then it struck me, there are so many children who would not get to unwrap something from under the tree that year.

Sara and Khurm Arshad collecting gifts for Every Child Needs Christmas.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONSara and Khurm Arshad collecting gifts for Every Child Needs Christmas. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

“We launched ECNC and in two weeks we received 750 presents which were sent around the BS postcode area.”

Sara – who won a Community Champion of Weston award earlier this year – has teamed up with schools, North Somerset Council, social services and community groups to identify and surprise the youngsters with their gifts.

The project is once again inviting people from around North Somerset and beyond to spend £5 on a new toy and then hand it in at one of the many drop off points before December 5.

People are then invited to join in with a Big Wrap party at the Vauxhall garage, in Aisecome Way, where all of the donated presents will be wrapped and sent off to the children ready for Christmas.

The Big Wrap event will take place on December 7 from 7.30-10pm or on December 8 from 11am-3pm.

Sara has set a 15,000-gift target for this festive season in what she hopes will be the ‘biggest one yet’.

She added: “It is amazing to see how it has grown.

“It literally means everything to us and it is a really important part of all our lives now.

“There is a lot of bad press all the time and this is one thing where, every year, people get behind it.”

If anyone is unable to get to a shop before the deadline, Sara has now set up an Amazon gift list where people can get their donation sent straight to her Worle home.

People should bring a pair of scissors, a roll of tape and wrapping paper with them.

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