Radisson RED Glasgow have teamed up with a city charity to help make sure no child in the city wakes up to a tree with nothing under it this Christmas.
Glasgow’s No1 Baby and Family Support Service, managed by Audrey Dempsey, runs the ‘Give A Kid A Christmas’ campaign each year and arranged gifts for 2035 children last year.
With the funds raised, Audrey puts together gift bags with themed presents designed to keep kids occupied for months into the new year, not just one day.
Audrey said: “Over the last six years, the poverty rate, particularly in work poverty, has risen drastically and people struggle to get through the year so we aim to ensure that no child goes without on this very special day.
“It’s a costly time for families and a heavy load for parents that are struggling so lightening that load will hopefully allow the whole family to relax, smile and enjoy the spirit of Christmas.
“We research all retailers to find the best prices and the toys can be purchased for £25 with deals running at the moment. As the age groups rise, it does get a bit more expensive but not by much if we shop savvy.
“The jackets can come in at anything from £15+ again depending on age and size so overall a complete pack could come in at £40 – that’s five presents plus the essential warm jacket.”
Curator at Radisson RED, Graham Chalmers, knew he had to help when he heard that, last year, Audrey was forced to turn away 100 parents because after delivering over 10,000 toys and over 200 coats, she simply had nothing left when those last parents came forward.
To help make sure Audrey doesn’t have to turn anyone away this time around, Graham is pushing the appeal across billboards and social media and asking people to support the charity in general.
Graham said: “I’m a dad – I have two young girls – and seeing their faces on Christmas morning is one of the greatest moments of every year for my wife and I.
“So the thought of any child waking up that day and finding nothing under the tree just breaks my heart. We love to help the community here at Radisson RED, it’s a real pillar of everything we do, and I cannot imagine a better cause to support than this one.
“We worked with Audrey last year and found her really inspirational so the whole team felt we would love to support her again for Christmas 2023.
“She said the most important thing for her was any support we could give for her annual campaign so that’s what we are doing – we’re asking our friends, families, guests, brand partners and just anyone who sees this to get on board and do what they can to make children smile on December 25.
“It costs pennies, literally – here are five gifts in each package with a cost of £25 total – so for £5 you can buy one of the gifts, for £25 you can buy a full package for a child. I know times are hard for most of us right now but when you think about the impact it will have on a child, I think £25 is incredible value.”
Started in Audrey’s garage six years ago, Glasgow’s No1 Baby and Family Support Service work all year round to support and help families in the city, with referrals direct from the public and from organisations like Glasgow Care Foundation.
Graham said: “We really hope everyone will get behind this wonderful cause and support this incredible woman and the work she does day in, day out for the children and families of Glasgow.
“Thank you to our partners Ocean for getting behind what we’re doing – we have created artwork to promote the campaign and Ocean have donated digital billboards all over Glasgow to help drive home what a difference we can all make from just a £5 donation.
“A fiver buys a toy. £25 buys a toy pack. £15 buys a jacket, and £40 buys all of it. £40 to give a child a magical Christmas. If you can help, please do.”
Audrey added: “I genuinely cannot find words that give justice to how much this support from Graham and Radisson RED means to us. Things like billboard adverts are something we could only dream about because small charities like us could never afford that, so this is bigger than massive for us.
“It’s taken kindness to a whole other level and we cannot thank Graham and his team enough for coming back to us again to help our big campaign bring festive smiles to more children than ever.”