Twenty five years of holiday kindness: Warwickshire Woman's annual Christmas hamper initiative
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A Warwickshire woman has been spreading joy and kindness by providing Christmas hampers for young people who have recently left care and asylum seekers for 25 years.
What started as a humble effort by former foster carer Norma Wilson working with the Warwickshire County Council’s Rugby Children’s Team soon expanded into a county-wide tradition of giving that has touched the lives of many.
This year Norma has prepared around 250 hampers.
She is supported in her work by Warwick charity Evelyn’s Gift.
The charity was set up by Helen Smith in memory of her daughter Evelyn who died suddenly and unexpectedly aged seven.
Moved by Norma’s kindness, Helen contacted her to get involved and continues to contribute towards each hamper as well as rallying for additional support from businesses and organisations to increase donations.
Norma said: “It’s hard for young people to learn to live alone without close family ties so I want them to feel loved and supported, particularly at this time of year.
"The number of boxes has grown to 250 as I want to ensure every care experienced or asylum-seeking young person who needs this little lift to receive one.
“The hampers typically contain essentials such as socks, gloves, soups, toothbrushes and anything else that might be of use, from festive goodies to household provisions.
"This takes away a little of the financial strain at Christmas allowing them to use what little money they have to buy presents, knowing they have food for Christmas.
"I am given names of the young people and I write them individual cards to go in the parcels signed “Love from Norma and people who care”.
"When I started this, I didn’t realise what a difference this small gesture would make, and it warms my heart to know how much it matters to the young recipients.
"This project is truly important to me, and it is my great pleasure to offer this help.”