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Spirit of Christmas

2222. Ronald Munro
2223. Diane Munro

Ronald and Diane Munro, from Selby, founded ‘Spirit of Christmas’, a volunteer-run charity that hosts Christmas parties and runs a toy shop to support disadvantaged families.

Wanting to give something back to their community, Ronald and Diane set up ‘Spirit of Christmas’ in 2008 to provide Christmas parties and relieve the financial burden on local socially and economically disadvantaged families. Gaining charitable status in 2019 due to the popularity of the parties, Ronald and Diane work in partnership with local services to help distribute the tickets, with over 400 children and their families attending each year, creating a special memory for guests who attend.

They have supported over 5,000 children through their Christmas parties, and have also converted an unused warehouse into a toy shop in the run up to Christmas, working with local primary schools, foodbank and social services to invite families in need to choose a toy. Ronald and Diane have also launched a year-round scheme, ‘The Banana Box Project’, to provide educational play toys to disadvantaged families. In addition, they have expanded their efforts to support Ukrainian children who arrived in the Selby area under the Homes for Ukraine scheme with their ‘Toys for Ukraine’ appeal.

In a personal letter to Ronald and Diane, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: 

“I wanted to write personally to thank you both for all that you do through the Spirit of Christmas to host festive parties and distribute gifts for thousands of children and their families.

“It is a shining example of compassion and community spirit – and I know that your work extends far beyond the Christmas period too.

“With your ‘Banana Box Project’ you redistribute pre-loved educational toys to vulnerable families across your community – and your ‘Toys for Ukraine’ appeal helped to ensure a warm welcome for Ukrainian children arriving in the Selby area under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.”

Ronald and Diane said:

“We were both surprised to find out about being nominated for the “Point of Light Award”. It was completely unexpected and we are thankful to our volunteers and supporters who help us with our charitable aims.”

Find out more about ‘Spirit of Christmas

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

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