Christmas Tree Project re-launched by Northumbria Police

16 Nov 2017 09:30 AM

Christmas Tree Project [View Full Size]

The 'Christmas Tree Project' which last year saw the public donate more than 4,000 presents to vulnerable children has been re-launched by Northumbria Police

Police Officers and Special Constables across Newcastle and Gateshead are re-launching the project after last year's success.

It involves members of the public donating presents which are in turn provided to vulnerable children living in Central Area Command.

For the second year running, Christmas trees will be placed in public areas at Forth Banks and Etal Lane police stations from this weekend.

They will be decorated with tags representing vulnerable children living in the area and the public are invited to select a tag.

Those tags can be picked directly from a tree any time between this Saturday (Nov 18) and December 2. A gift up to the value of £10 can then be purchased for their nominated child. 

The unwrapped present should then be handed in to front office staff at Etal Lane and Forth Banks between December 2nd and December 9th.

Chief Superintendent Neil Hutchison said the overwhelming response in 2016 was testament to the kindness and generosity of local residents.

He said: "When I arrived in Northumbria from the Met Police last year one of the first things I wanted to do was introduce the Christmas Tree Project.

"The response we saw was overwhelming and bigger than anything I saw in my previous command in London.

"Our intention was to provide gifts to around 100 vulnerable children across Newcastle and Gateshead but in the end we received more than 4,000 donations from the public.

"This was down to the enormous generosity of the public and the hard work and dedication of the Special Constables, police officers, police staff and Police Cadets who supported the Project in Central Area Command.

"To try and manage the amazing response form the public we will be asking that anyone who wants to donate a present to come and pick up a tag before December 2. You can then come and drop off your present at the available drop-off times.

"So please take a look at the times and pop in to a station to help us bring a little bit of happiness to some of these vulnerable children this Christmas."

The presents donated will be given to children linked to ten different organisations across the Newcastle and Gateshead areas.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, said: "The Christmas Tree Project is a fantastic idea. It’s good that Neil Hutchison has brought this great project with him up from London and I would urge as many people as possible to take part and donate whatever they can to the cause. 

"Otherwise, some children will wake up on Christmas day without any new toys which is why our volunteers and staff are so passionate about supporting this project."

The scheme will launch next week with Christmas trees being put up at stations across the force this weekend. The times where you can drop off donations are as follows:

Forth Banks

2nd December, 10am to 3pm 
3rd December, 10am to 3pm

4th December, 3pm to 7pm
5th December, 3pm to 7pm  
6th December, 3pm to 7pm 
7th December, 3pm to 7pm 
8th December, 3pm to 7pm  
9th December, 3pm to 7pm

Etal Lane

4th December, 3pm to 4.30pm
5th December, 3pm to 4.30pm
6th December, 3pm to 4.30pm
7th December, 3pm to 4.30pm
8th December, 3pm to 4.30pm