Islington children set for merry Christmas thanks to police scheme

Officers launched the Christmas Tree Project at Islington Police Station and Angel and Archway tube stations last Thursday.

Christmas trees have been set up at the stations and are decorated with tags. Members of the public are encouraged to take the tags and follow the instructions on them to find out how to donate a present to a disadvantaged child.

Sgt Alistair Mills, who is managing the project for Islington Police, said: “This is to help children, who might not otherwise have such a great Christmas because of their circumstances, to get a present.

“By working with Islington Council, we’ve identified about 700 children who are in need. We won’t be accepting cash, just presents for each individual child. No one has more got more trees than our three in Islington.”

The Islington project is part of a wider campaign, launched by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, which involves all 32 London boroughs.

The gifts will be bought for children from the age of one week to 17 years and will benefit those in care across all London boroughs. The limit of each gift is £20. All the presents will then be delivered to the children at their care homes before Christmas Day.

Caris Islington, a charity that runs a Bereavement Counselling Service for children and adults, welcomed the initiative.

“This is a reminder that Christmas is not a happy time for all children in Islington,” they said. “ Christmas can be a very tough time of year for children who are not with their families.”

Councillor Joe Caluori, executive member for children and families, also praised the campaign.
“This is a great initiative at this time of year in which families are so important to have,” he said. “It is a great opportunity to give something to people who may not be so fortunate, especially for children and young people.”

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