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Thank you! CNJ readers make Christmas hamper appeal one of the best ever

How you helped make Christmas for those less fortunate

02 January, 2020 — By Helen Chapman

Maureen Brogan found it ‘full of lovely pickles’

YOU’VE made our Christmas!

This was the heart-touching sentiment that greeted our reporters as they toured the borough delivering hampers over the festive period.

The boxes of goodies – supplied by Sainsbury’s in Camden Road – were paid for through donations from our generous readers, who helped show that we are a community of people who care for one another.

Beryl Dewing gets a hamper

Gladys Hill gets a surprise

We have visited community centres and lunch clubs, as well as making individual drops at people’s homes to try and reach people who do not have lots of money to spend at this expensive time of year, and to show people on their own – such as some of our elderly residents – that they are not forgotten. So off we sent our Santa – who bore an uncanny resemblance to New Journal reporter Samantha Booth – to help with the deliveries.

Beryl Dewing, 81, said: “I will be spending Christmas in front of the television because I am so eaten up with arthiritis. This is my Christmas – to have a hamper. I can’t go out much any more so this will really cheer me up.”

For sensitive and personal reasons, many of our hamper recipients did not want to be photographed for the newspaper but extended their gratitude to our readers for their donations

It was just one moment of magic on our hamper rounds, but an example of why the generosity of readers can mean so much. There were more smiles and tears as residents told us how much it meant to know that, despite the hard times many live through, people still care.

Residents opened their doors with surprise and delight and those who received them on our rounds were full of gratitude for the kindness of their neighbours here in Camden.

Shannon White and children Esmae, 5, and Carter, 2, open the door to Santa

Margaret Mauro with Santa and a four-legged friend

Maureen Brogan, 77, said: “When I opened it I couldn’t believe it. It is full of lovely pickles I wouldn’t normally buy for myself. I am like the weather – I have been up and down this year. I live alone but my neighbour comes once a month to visit me. “I love my New Journal. I was born in Herbert Street and when I used to get out more I would go down to Queen’s Crescent Market and Camden Town once a week. In the New Journal I read about places that were there and before and are there now. It takes me down memory lane every week.”

Understandably, a lot of those who received hampers did not want to feature in the newspaper. But everybody who received a hamper asked us to pass on their gratitude.

The CNJ’s Samantha Booth plays Santa and, below, Sainsbury’s staff get packing after our giant order of hampers

Shannon White, who lives in Gospel Oak, said: “I have been struggling with three children but this hamper really means a lot. I will be spending Christmas at my mum’s – we lost a cousin last year so we are coming together this year. This hamper is a really nice surprise.”

The CNJ’s Sarah Starkins receives extra goodies for the hampers from Murphy’s

Thanks to our generous readers: Mr A Henley-Smith, Robert and Moira Latham, GEV Kogan, JPL and DJ Ratzer, Mr P Kelly, Mrs J S Ramsay, Mr AJ Arnold and Mrs E M Arnold, Cllr Jenny Headlam Wells, Mrs A V Menkes-Ivry, Mr AR Barrett, Lady Selina Hastings, Cllr Roger Robinson, A Baster, Mr Hennessey, Griselda Brook, Ms G I Fenemore-Jones, Miss M Swift, Philippa C Price, Mr Francis Drake and Mrs Susan Drake, AF Smith, Cllr F Rea, Mike Fitzgerald, Pat Logue and the Sheephaven Bay Pub, N Hurst, Ms Ewa Carsten, Miss SM Bryan, RG and GE Lansdown, EM Rich, Diana Molony, Cllr Alison Kelly, Juliet Payn, Claire Masters, Jessica Sebag-Montefiore, Cllr Maryam Eslamdoust, MM Koval, Barry Molloy, Nicholas Payn, Ian Manester, Pamela Taylor, David Pannepacker, Patricia Thane, William Robinson, Martin Gadgil, Chris Roa, Katie Woodruff, A Bailwick, Lady F von Hofmannsthal, Teri Osborne-Gomez, Cllr P A Callaghan, Amanda Sebestyen, Deirdre Krymer, Barry Teague, E Noakes, Judy Hallgarten, Dawn Verrall, Deborah Oakley, Susan Ferry, Sheila Corr, Catriona Maccoll, Joan Chaplin, David Griffiths, Cllr Paul Tomlinson, Cllr Jonathan Simpson, John Saynor, C Thorne, Roger Hughes, Julia Reimer, Helen Jefferson- Brown, Matthew Hills, Mrs AM Armes, Mrs SM Plowden, Mr JV Doggart and Miss Z Coward, Ms T Berg, Ms JM Nassau, Mr H Mackover and Mrs E Mackover, Mr D Mackover, Ms RS Lewin, PM Clapp, Anthony Wills, LabTech, Teresa Smith, Miss EA Lamb, Cllr D Beattie, Aidan Beattie, Keir Beattie, and Murphy’s.

And thank-you to all those who donated anonymously.



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