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Sheppey's Crisis at Christmas organisers need Islanders help ahead of festive season

Organisers of a charity that supports needy families during the festive period say they are in for another busy year.

Crisis at Christmas, which has been going for more than 20 years, is appealing for donations of money, food, gifts and the help of volunteers.

The support and services it provides range from putting children’s gifts under trees across the Island to helping parents pay for energy bills.

Crisis at Christmas organisers Marie Piper, Betty Boswell and Carol Wraight
Crisis at Christmas organisers Marie Piper, Betty Boswell and Carol Wraight

Free Christmas lunches are also held on December 25 and Boxing Day at the Community Church in Broadway, Sheerness.

This year’s organisers, Betty Boswell, Carol Wraight and Marie Piper, have recruited Elizabeth Roberts to help them with some of the running around.

Mrs Wraight said that around 35 hampers were given out last December, and she expected the demand among Island families to be high again this year.

She said: “Last year we ran out of food. We had to go and buy more. We ran out of everything.

“I don’t think it’s going to be a lot different this year, quite honestly. It’s the state of the country at the moment.

“Donations are really important because without them we just can’t run the service unfortunately.

Marie Piper and Carol Wraight
Marie Piper and Carol Wraight

“A lot of families are deciding that you shouldn’t drag families out on Christmas Day and Boxing Day so we now go to them and give them their Christmas indoors. All the presents and food they need.”

Mrs Boswell said the charity was increasingly having to put money on people’s gas and electricity keys because families had to “toss up” between food and heating.

Pupils at Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey are putting together hampers, and the school will be donating proceeds from its Christmas fair to the appeal.

Food, money and gifts can be left with volunteers who will be working at the Community Church on December 18 and 19 and then from the following Monday up until Christmas Eve.

Alternatively, call Mrs Boswell on 07709 961890 to arrange how to drop off money to be spent locally.

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