Secret Santa is a Community Interest Company (CIC) Reg No.10858839 (Est. 2017)
Thank you for stopping by and spending a few minutes discovering what we do for our most disadvantaged children across Blackburn with Darwen. We're called “Secret Santa” because it's not about us - it's about the children.
We've had a lot of success across the last 7 years and have delivered successfully every year, even throughout COVID, where we thought we would fail, we received tremendous support from our local community and Christmas that year was fantastic!
We have a shop on King William Street, on the edge of Blackburn Mall, adjacent to the glass clock tower (pictured above). This is WHOLLY due to the kindness and support of the team that own and manage Blackburn Mall who provide us with the shop rent-free.
Secret Santa was born in August of 2017 by Phil and Karen Boulding, working from their home in Lower Darwen with an original goal of delivering 200 sacks to Childrens Services who in turn would then deliver our red Santa Sacks to the MOST disadvantaged children in the area.
Later that year, due to demand the goal grew to 800 sacks, the following year was 905 and sadly the demand has since grown to more than 1,000. The good news is that for each of the last 6 years we have delivered successfully on our goal - despite the impact of COVID and the challenges of the cost-of-living crisis.
As our 7th Christmas approaches - we are launching our Xmas 2024 appeal. where again we will be providing a sack of 7 x presents to 1,000 local disadvantaged children - to open on Christmas day morning.
Ideally, we need to collect cash donations from people like yourself that will allow us to purchase a quantity of age/gender specific gifts that we will make up into "Santa sacks" containing 7 different presents (more below) that will be delivered to the parents of these children. Cash donations allow us to fill specific gaps between what toys are donated, and the toys that we need.
Our hope is to bring a smile and genuine cheer into the lives of those less fortunate children in Blackburn and Darwen on Christmas morning when they open their totally unexpected "Santa Sack". (The parents will have wrapped these presents and will give them as if they had bought the gifts, giving themselves some self-esteem and most importantly the obvious message to the child that they ARE loved, and they ARE normal and do NOT have to go without.
Because without what we do - These children would REALLY get next to nothing at all. They are in the bullseye of who our local Childrens services look after.
We intend providing 7 presents in each sack of gifts (Age/Gender appropriate):
A selection box - All children LOVE chocolate
Stocking filler - To help build the excitement
Reading Book(s) - To help them read, learn or even “escape”
Skipping rope, Football or Frisbee - Get them mobile
Board game/Puzzle - To play together as a family unit
Main present - Just for themselves
A teddy - For those quiet, comforting times
Collectively these gifts will help the child play, read, learn, engage with his/her family/friends playing games and really enjoy their own very special Christmas experience.
Each "Santa's sack" costs us approximately £25. So, for just £25 we can REALLY help a needy child have an amazing Christmas.
Absolutely any amount you could help us with is a massive contribution to what we hope to achieve and this year we are aiming to help 1,000 local children from Blackburn and Darwen.
And if you're a business and wanted as a company to donate toys - simply collect your toys, call us and we'll pick them up and take photos to share on our social media.
Please either email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your details OR, feel free to call us anytime on 07866 566166. Or simply click the “donate” button, and we'll do the rest. - Thank you so much.
2024's GOAL is £25,000
PLEASE CONSIDER DONATING
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We are supporting Blackburn with Darwen borough council's Childrens Services Division
providing their 8 Childrens centres across Blackburn and Darwen and the main
headquarters for Childrens Services at Duke Street and other locations with 1,000
Santa sacks for Xmas 2024.
We are really pleased and proud to be supporting our LOCAL children and ensuring that purely down to the kind people of Blackburn and Darwen, these under-privileged children will have a better Christmas.
As a result of our work and your support, family support workers and social workers will have a straight forward route through these centres in requesting referrals for the families they work with.
The reason these families are in difficulty are wide and complex. Secret Santa doesn't get involved directly, instead we leave the professionals to their roles and the families to their privacy and we concentrate on supporting the carers who will pass on our Santa Sacks just ahead of Christmas.
We also help the Elderly and Lonely - When we were collecting, many people told us it's not just children that suffer at Christmas, but the elderly do too. They weren't always elderly and lonely, they have memories of better times.
So we said we would also arrange a series of Christmas parties and get these people out and together, enjoying themselves again. In 2017 we helped 100. In 2018 it had risen to 250 across Blackburn and Darwen. In 2019, our goal was to bring 300 elderly, lonely people together. Ever since we have provided parties for 300+ elderly, lonely people to come together, have a party, a warm meal and some gifts. Especially welcome during those cold, dark January and February lonely days.
In fact, we now work all year round helping local families with our Secret Santa support.
Apart from Christmas, and our work with the elderly we do the following:
Give 1,000 Easter eggs away at Easter
Give 300 x EID gift bags with toys and gifts in for EID
Support girls and ladies with Sanitary ware year round
Give away hundreds of outside toys/games and sporty items across the school summer holidays to help keep the children engaged and away from getting into trouble
Building and giving away “Buddy benches” to local junior schools. Which is a brightly coloured bench that a lonely child can sit on, and when others see him/her they can approach the child and invite him/her to play with them. A fantastic new project.
And various other ad-hoc projects across the year.