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Giving gifts at Christmas

425. Hayley Roberts
424. Emma Davis

Two Cheshire-based friends who will help hundreds of vulnerable people tackle loneliness this Christmas.

Hayley Jane Roberts, 32, and Emma Louise Davis, 26, Director of an estate agents in Warrington and engineer support manager in Altrincham respectively, set up their ‘Hope Tea’ projects in 2015 after finding out that many pensioners spend their Christmas alone. Their project has rallied more than 500 donations of gifts and 45 volunteers to deliver them to vulnerable people on Christmas Day, spending some time with them when they do so.

The gifts provided vary but all of them are donated by willing individuals or businesses wanting to help the cause. They range from biscuits to clothing to tea sets. but all of it is gifted to those who need it and- crucially- those who would otherwise be spending Christmas Day on their own. The pair are expanding the project, already recruiting the support of Halton Borough Council adult social services department who will provide their carers as volunteer gift deliverers.

They plan to expand the project so it can run community tea shops where anyone can come along and socialise with other people.They are now in the process of finding benefactors and have signed up over 400 people so far.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Hayley and Emma have created a fantastic way to deliver gifts and companionship to older people at Christmas. They have inspired many other people in their local community to take time out from their own Christmas celebrations and spend it with people who would otherwise be alone. This is a wonderful idea that will brighten many Christmas Days – and Hayley and Emma are truly Points of Light.”

Hayley and Emma said:

“We are so grateful to everyone who has contacted us and got involved whether it be donating a gift or volunteering to deliver a gift on Christmas day. We are overwhelmed with people’s generosity and it makes us so proud to be able to start a cause that is so close to people’s hearts. We cannot believe that we have won this amazing award it is all down to the help that we have had and we are very humbled.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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