Two Kent college bosses have launched a Christmas Gift Appeal to make sure less fortunate children will receive a special present this year.
After a difficult 2020, Shireen and Graham Razey from EKC Group and Christ The King Sixth Forms hope people across Kent will be able to help.
The public and those working or studying at the colleges have been asked to make donations of gifts which will then be distributed to a range of charities, such as Demelza Hospice Care for Children near Sittingbourne, the St Vincent de Paul Society, whose volunteers help tackle poverty, and Refuge, which supports victims of domestic violence.
Gifts can be anything from toys, puzzles and colouring books to gift vouchers, toiletries or sweet treats.
The husband and wife team both work in areas with high levels of deprivation, which drew them to do something to help their local communities.
Graham Razey, CEO at EKC Group, which has colleges in Ashford, Broadstairs, Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone and Sheerness, said: “We have a regular programme of youth-led social action within our family of six Further Education colleges and three business units in east Kent.
"However, this year the pandemic has meant that we’ve been unable to get out into the community and deliver the same amount of positive change we are normally able to.
"So, this year I wanted to ensure that we were doing something additional to benefit those who might otherwise not have a Christmas that was as special as it might be.”
Shireen Razey, executive principal of Christ the King Sixth Forms (CTK), a group of Catholic sixth forms, including one in Sidcup, said: “Our students are keen to make a difference in the local communities where they live and work, many of which have been affected by the pandemic.
"Our sixth forms do a lot of work supporting charities and we all wanted to make the festive period special for young people who have experienced such hardship this year.”
From Friday, November 20, anyone in the county can also drop off a gift donation at CTK St Mary’s, Sidcup, or Canterbury College, New Dover Road, Canterbury, as well as the following Co-ops:
You can also donate money to the EKC Group and Christ the King Sixth Form's Go Fund Me page, here.