Placement Support Worker Norma Wilson is once again spreading cheer over the festive period by putting together a fresh set of Christmas hampers for Warwickshire care leavers.
For 18 years, Norma has created the hampers for the Warwickshire Fostering Service to go to young people and asylum seekers who have recently come out of foster care and now live alone without family support.
For those without families, Christmas can be a lonely and difficult time and many do not receive any gifts at all. Norma’s selfless work will see that fewer care leavers go without.
Having begun by only creating a few hampers, over the last couple of years the amount has snowballed to well over two hundred. As well as Christmas gifts, the hampers also contain essentials such as socks, gloves, mince pies, biscuits, soups, toothbrushes, sheets and anything else that might be of use.
33 hampers will also go to young people with babies and Norma is accepting donations such as hand-knitted cardigans, hats and gloves to be included in the boxes.
Over the years Norma has gathered a following and a steady stream of donations continue to come to her from neighbours, friends, work colleagues and local businesses. She has been overwhelmed by the positive response from people.
In 2017 Norma sent out 175 hampers across Warwickshire and this year that number has risen to 219, which fill almost every available space in her home prior to their dispatch in the run-up to Christmas.
“It is a privilege to put these hampers together for the county’s young people who have little support at this time of year. The gifts are always well-received and it brings great joy knowing we have made a difference, however small. I wouldn’t be able to do it without support from the kind people who donate to the scheme. I have met so many wonderful, generous people through doing this which is truly inspiring.”
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council said:
“I really want to thank Norma for her commitment to providing Warwickshire care leavers with something special this Christmas. Her commitment and selflessness really does Warwickshire County Council proud.
“As well as spreading the Christmas cheer, Norma’s actions will provide those most vulnerable in our county with feeling that they’re not alone and that someone cares.”
For more information, please visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/fostering