In Funding Stories, Reducing isolation & disadvantage

Project: To help fund the delivery of 300 Christmas hampers and 50 hygiene bags for disadvantaged people living in the Aylesbury area

Grant: £1,500

Fund: HoB General Fund

The Aylesbury Christmas Community Hamper Project was launched in response to the cancellation of St Mary’s annual Community Christmas lunch due to Covid.

The hampers awaiting delivery

Christmas can be a very challenging period for many Aylesbury residents, and the Christmas lunch often provides some respite to people living in disadvantaged circumstances. The Church was looking at viable Covid-safe alternatives to spread a little Christmas joy among local residents, and eventually settled on the Christmas Hamper project.

The project aimed to distribute luxury hampers and personal hygiene bags to members of the local community who were in real need over the festive period. 354 hampers, 50 personal hygiene bags, and 50 bags of love were made and distributed throughout Aylesbury.

Most recipients were nominated by local agencies who had an insight into the community and identified individuals whereby a surprise hamper would make the biggest difference. These included rough sleepers and the homeless; those recently housed, the socially isolated, poverty-stricken households, and those who simply have fallen on hard times.

The project involved 34 volunteers, and 19 external agencies to ensure the hampers and bags were delivered to the right people. The community also rallied behind the project, which received support from the Aylesbury Foodbank and the Aylesbury College Catering Department, whose students helped prepare Christmas treats for the hampers.

One woman was sadly living in a transit van at the time and therefore had a hamper delivered to her in a supermarket car park. Thankfully, the lady has since been rehoused; however, she expressed her immense gratitude at receiving the hamper during a particularly difficult period in her life.

If you’d like to read more about the impact Heart of Bucks is making in the local community here.