More than 22,000 presents were donated to the Met’s Christmas Tree Appeal this year, all of which were hand delivered by officers and staff to children across London who may not otherwise have received one this festive season.
Over £33,000 was also raised via a fundraising website and directly through some boroughs. A proportion of these donations have gone towards buying presents for those children who did not receive one following the appeal. The remainder was donated to the Met's chosen charity, The Childhood Trust – London’s child poverty charity.
The gifts are given to children aged from one-week to 17 years old and benefits those in need across all London boroughs. The children are currently being cared for by foster parents, in residential care homes, in refuges, in hospitals, or are children from low-income families.
The campaign was launched last month by Met Commissioner Cressida Dick. The Commissioner was joined by the Met's overall Christmas poster competition winner, nine-year-old Tom Harvey from Ealing, and they both got the appeal underway by switching on the Christmas tree lights outside New Scotland Yard.
Commissioner Cressida Dick, said: “For another year, Londoners have surpassed their level of generosity by donating more than 3,000 extra presents compared to last year. This means that we were able to deliver these gifts to even more children through the Capital, and that they were able to open a present on Christmas Day.
“On behalf of everyone in the Metropolitan Police Service I would like to thank everyone who has supported our appeal and donated to this very important cause.”
Laurence Guinness, Chief Executive of The Childhood Trust, said: “The incredible generosity of donors means that over 22,000 disadvantaged children received a present on Christmas day. Your kindness means that a London child in need won’t feel left out and will know that someone cared enough about them to buy them a present. On behalf of all the children, a huge thank you to everyone who donated.”
The Christmas Tree Appeal has been an annual event since 2012, spreading Christmas cheer across London with trees being lit up outside police stations and in other public places in all 32 boroughs.