Southam community unites once again for shoebox appeal

Some of the shoeboxes donated to the appeal. Photo supplied.
Some of the shoeboxes donated to the appeal. Photo supplied.

A community initiative which helps spread Christmas cheer to those less fortunate has had another successful year.

This year marked the third year for the Southam shoebox appeal, which saw more than 400 shoeboxes donated.

Nicola Taylor and a group of residents from Southam organised the annual appeal.

Explaining how the appeal started, Nicola said: “Three years ago a friend’s daughter asked about sending a present to another child in this country, and he posted this on social media. I suggested setting up a group. He didn’t have the time so I said I would do it.

“I created an open Facebook page and spoke about the idea of buying for those less fortunate than us. I contacted our local food bank team and before we knew it we had a few hundred members.

“We linked it to the collection date with the Southam Christmas lights switch on. The first year we got about 200 boxes that all went to our local Fosse Foodbank. Last year we managed to get a company to pay for advertising and printed leaflets and we received more than 700 boxes.”

This year’s appeal saw the addition of a ‘Christmas dinner in a box’ option.

Nicola said: “We had a big push in schools this year. We had 400 plus boxes this year and almost all have gone to families in and around Southam and villages.

“The majority of these have gone to the foodbank and some also went to Age UK. Our community has been so generous. I think a lot of people feel so happy to make them because it’s them doing their bit for the community.

“We would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the appeal this year.”

The volunteers behind the appeal would also like to thank the Bowling Green who paid for advertising, Bizzy Tots Day Nursery for printing leaflets and Jo McGaffin for her art work on the posters.

The volunteers would also like to thank: Napton musical Group, Harbury school, Southam scout group, Southam Primary School, Deeley Construction and GEFCO UK who all donated to the appeal.

They would also like to thank Anthony James Care for delivering the donations to the Foodbank and Southam Fire station for use of their premises as a drop off point. The appeal will return next year.