The end of the year has always been my time to reflect on what has been great and on what we can improve on at FACES. We have had very low moments, particularly with Jane’s terminal diagnosis and we have had highs such as Michaela winning a national Public Health Award for excellence on delivering our lovely Baby FACES project.
As I sit here in my office surrounded by the amazing donations of food and gifts for the families we support, I feel overwhelmed by the generosity of the people in our town.
One mum has told us:
“I had no idea how I was going to provide a Christmas for my children this year. When I fled domestic violence, we had to leave all our belongings behind including the children’s toys. But then you arrived with a large box of food, and some lovely brand new and wrapped toys for my three children”. It was such a joy seeing my children’s faces, which were brighter than the lights on the tree. Thank you, you will remain in our hearts forever”
Sometimes it is a great shock for people to hear that in our little town, we have over 8000 children living in poverty. Certainly in the ten years I have been working with our charity, I have seen not only the numbers of children in poverty increase but also more and more working families on the bread line trying to keep up with the soaring cost of energy, food and child care. One of the most worrying things for me is that younger children are becoming aware of the stresses that parents are under which is having a backlash to their own mental health and their future life chances.
So thanks to the people who have donated, we can give FACES families a Christmas experience… even if the respite from their daily fight for survival is only for a few days.
This week the whole team have been running around Bedford collecting donations, sorting presents, delivering food boxes and preparing for our Children’s Christmas party – we are exhausted but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
So may I take this opportunity to thank the generosity of businesses, volunteers and individuals who have made Christmas happen for local families.
Sainsbury Fairfield Park,
Children In Need
Co-op Travel Bedford,
The Bedford Lions,
Bedfordshire Business Women,
All Nations Church Brickhill
Tavistock Community Centre
We really couldn’t have done this without you.
Seasons Greetings to you all with love from Team FACES.