The Giving Tree gets off to a flying start

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The Giving Tree Wokingham
The Giving Tree was launched at Tesco's in Wokingham Picture: Steve Smyth for The Wokingham Paper
The Giving Tree Wokingham

TAGS are once again flying off the trees as this year’s Giving Tree Appeal gets into full swing.

Last week, we revealed that the trees have been going up across the borough, enabling residents the opportunity to put a smile on children’s faces this Christmas Day.

For more than 18 years, the generous people of Wokingham and the surrounding area have dug deep to make sure less fortunate youngsters stay on Santa’s list.

The idea is simple, but it sparkles with the true spirit of the season. You choose a tag from one of the many Giving Trees across the borough, buy the gift on the tag and return it – unwrapped – to the tree.

Big-hearted volunteers then go to work to get the presents to the local charities benefiting from the appeal and make sure they go to children whose stockings might otherwise have been empty on Christmas morning.

Last year, more than 2,500 tags were collected and hopes are high that Wokingham folk will be even more generous this time around.

Gill Mckernan, from Barnardo’s High Close School, organises the appeal with a team of volunteers including the kind staff at Transform Housing, who sort and store all the gifts for the charities to collect.

“The Giving Tree has got off to a fantastic start with tags literally flying off the trees,” she said.

“The generous local people are adding another Christmas present to their list to make a disadvantaged child very happy this Christmas.

Nearly all the venues have now got wish tags on their trees. All you need to do is take a tag, buy the gift and return it unwrapped to the Giving Tree by the requested date. The charities will then deliver the gift to the child in time for Christmas.

“No child who has asked for a gift through the Giving Tree will go without this Christmas.

“Supporting the Giving Tree does not mean spending a fortune. Any present will put a smile on the face of a child at Christmas.

“All shoppers need to do is choose a tag, buy the gift suggested and return it, unwrapped to the place where they collected the tag from. The children ask for such a variety of gifts and there is always something you can find to buy at all different prices.”

She added: “I would like to say a huge thank you to PWC who have printed the tags and posters again this year as well as supporting the appeal by buying lots of gifts. Also to all the businesses who are hosting a tree this year.”

Wokingham Borough Mayor Cllr Bill Soane was pleased to have attended the launch event.

“It’s what Christmas is all about,” he said. It’s wonderful and great to see all the various charities that The Giving Tree helps. It’s such a happy appeal.”

If you can buy an extra gift to make someone else’s Christmas, find a tree near you and send it with love.

Where to find a Giving Tree

  • Morrisons, Woosehill
  • Newbury Building Society, Wokingham
  • Nirvana Spa, Sindlesham
  • Sedero Lounge, Wokingham
  • Tesco Warfield
  • Tesco Wokingham
  • Wokingham Library
  • Wokingham Borough Council

Businesses with trees

These trees are not open to the public

  • Artizian Catering Services
  • BCD Travel
  • Century Link
  • Dell UK
  • Peacfinance
  • Premier Research
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • RSA Security
  • Sage UK
  • Simply Commerce

Charities that benefit

  • Barnardo’s
  • Berkshire Women’s Aid
  • Building For The Future
  • Children with Special Needs Foundation
  • Dingley Family and Specialist Early Years Centre
  • First Days
  • Home Start
  • Kaleidoscopic UK
  • Look Ahead Care and Support
  • Sebastians Action Trust
  • Transform Housing
  • Wokingham Young Carers

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