Mahdlo volunteers helped bring joy to so many over the festive period

Date published: 08 January 2021

Mahdlo Youth Zone volunteers ensured numerous Oldham families enjoyed a magical Christmas by distributing hampers across the borough last month.

Around 2,200 people benefitted from 400 hampers which were filled with festive treats, food staple items, hygiene essentials and a family board game to provide some festive fun.

Over £10,000 was donated by local companies and 71 individuals to fund the hampers.

In addition, more than £3,500 of Gifts in Kind were donated, with Terry and Sue Flanagan donating many of the games that the families enjoyed, and local firm Ribble Packaging donated the cardboard boxes.

The Youth Zone’s members and their families received an extra special treat, when the jolly man himself personally delivered the hampers, checking in with young people and offering additional support from Mahdlo youth workers as the big day approached.

Mahdlo's Claire Crossfield said: “Initially we aimed to provide 100 hampers for our members and their families, but we were inundated with requests from local schools, various partner organisations and statutory services with families needing this support.

"Times are challenging for us all at the moment, but the community really rallied and got behind the initiative, providing relief and comfort for so many people over the festive period.

"We can’t thank our donors enough.”

Joanne Farnworth, Family Liaison at Co-op Academy Failsworth, added: “I want to say a massive thank you from Co-op Academy.

"All our families have been supported by Mahdlo with the amazing Christmas hampers.

"I was like Mother Christmas out on deliveries. There was lots of gratitude and tears of joy.

"It must have been a massive operation and hours of hard work for many people, but it was so worthwhile and very much appreciated.”

Lucy Lees, Mahdlo's Interim CEO, said: “Young people need Mahdlo to be there more than ever right now; the services and support we offer are critical to help them to flourish and grow into young adults.

"Over the last year we have had to adapt quickly to deliver remote support via one-to-one and group video calls, telephone check-ins and a host of other outreach services.

"Sometimes we were the first point of call during extraordinary and devastating circumstances.”

Donors included One Oldham Business Awards and local firms Q Crane & Plant Hire, Breakey & Nuttall, Prestige Nursing Care,, Osborne Delta, P&R, Swans Travel, Sefton Accountants, Wrigley Claydon, Think Wild, Bedspace, Docutech Office Solutions, Rotary Club of Oldham Metro and Rotary Club of Saddleworth.

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