Christmas Tree Project is a huge success

08 Dec 2016 12:47 PM

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Police are thanking the public for making the Christmas Tree Project a huge success.

The project was launched mid-November with the aim of providing

gifts and presents for vulnerable children living in Newcastle and Gateshead.

The original plan was to run it until December 12th, in the hope of getting around 250 presents, however the

initiative has been so successful that officers are having to conclude the project earlier than planned as we have already received more than treble our original target and anticipate getting many more as members of the public donate presents for which they have already taken tags.

We have now ran out of tags and no more will be issued from the Christmas trees in police stations and anyone who has already taken a tag is asked to bring presents in ASAP.

We cannot receive presents without tags as we now have to concentrate our efforts on wrapping and distributing the presents to the right children before Christmas.

In total around 970 presents have been donated by members of the public and officers and staff at police stations across Newcastle and Gateshead.

Over £2500 has also been raised through a just giving page and this too will go towards making sure that around 730 vulnerable children across the region enjoy their Christmas.

The next step is getting the presents all wrapped ready for Christmas and sent off to Santa to make sure they can be delivered at a Christmas party that is currently being organised by police and

Newcastle City Council's fostering team.

Newcastle and Gateshead Chief Superintendent Neil Hutchison said:

"I've been totally overwhelmed by the fantastic  generosity of the people here in the North East. We have worked with our partners at Newcastle and Gateshead Councils and charitable organisations to identify those children most in need who may have received nothing or little at Christmas due to their difficult family circumstances. We were hoping to raise enough donations to give these children one present each but thanks to the amazing response from the public and our staff then we will be able to give the children two or three presents each, which is just brilliant!

"We've had people non-stop coming into the stations and taking the tags and donating some really great presents. We've had families and work places coming in to take part and we've even had visitors from other parts of the country travel to Newcastle to donate, it's been a truly fantastic thing for us and the public to be involved with.

"Everyone who has donated money or presents or who has shared our appeal on social media has done their bit to make sure that a lot of very vulnerable children have something to smile about on Christmas morning and they should all be very proud, I can't thank everyone enough. You've all earned an extra guilt-free mince pie this Christmas and on behalf of all of my officers and staff here in Newcastle and Gateshead I want to say a huge thanks for all of your help."

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