The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Leighton Buzzard after the local community rallied round help a family in need.
Members of the public donated food, clothes, toys and furniture to a mother and her three young children, who found themselves in an empty home with no possessions.
The family, with three children all under the age of 5, were left with only the clothes they were wearing and a Christmas tree, so the family’s social worker got in touch with Central Bedfordshire Council’s Leighton Buzzard Children’s Centre to see what support could be offered.
The centre, within the grounds of the Rushmere Park Academy, posted a call for donations on their Facebook page on December 11, writing: ‘We are asking if you can help us come together to support a family who through no fault of their own are going through a difficult time.
"They are in need of literally everything for their home.’
Initially, the request was for emergency items, such as beds, which staff from the Children’s Centre delivered to the family and helped to build, while local canal company, Wyvern Shipping Company, provided bedding and towels for the family.
But the donations kept pouring in and, within a week, the family received everything they need, from food, furniture, cooking utensils and cutlery.
And, as it is the festive period, families in the community, and the Salvation Army and KidsOut charities, not only generously donated replacement toys, but helped provide new toys to be given as gifts on Christmas Day.
Writing about the response on social media, the Children’s Centre posted: ‘It has been amazing and the family are totally blown away by the support and kindness of strangers.’
Central Bedfordshire Council executive member for families, education and children, cllr Sue Clark said: “It is heartening at any time of the year to hear of communities rallying together to support people with such overwhelming demonstrations of generosity and compassion.
"These qualities are amplified at Christmas time, so I hope the spirit of the season provides some solace at what will be a difficult this time for the mother and her three young children. We will, of course, continue to support them.
“I must also commend our social workers and children’s centre staff for their efforts in helping, not only this family, but doing such wonderful work all year around to ensure some of our most vulnerable children and families have the support they need.”