Former foster carer puts Santa to shame with Christmas hamper donations - The Rugby Observer

Former foster carer puts Santa to shame with Christmas hamper donations

Rugby Editorial 16th Dec, 2023   0

A BIG-hearted former foster care worker is hoping to put Santa to shame by sending 250 Christmas hampers to young people in Warwickshire who have no family.

For over 25 years, Norma Wilson has put together the festive goody-boxes to bring seasonal smiles to the faces of young people who have recently left care, and young asylum seekers who live alone.

The hampers include essentials such as socks, gloves, soups, toothbrushes and household provisions to ease the festive financial strain – plus a few festive goodies.

What started as a humble effort within Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) Rugby Children’s Team soon expanded into a county-wide tradition of giving that has touched many lives.

Having fostered over 140 children and young people during her time a foster carer for WCC, Norma has gained a unique understanding of the challenges faced by young care-leavers.

She said: “It’s hard for young people to learn to live alone without close family ties, so I want them to feel loved and supported, particularly at this time of year. The number of boxes has grown to 250 as I want to ensure every care experienced or asylum-seeking young person who needs this little lift to receive one.

“I am given names of the young people and I write them individual cards to go in the parcels signed ‘Love from Norma and people who care’.

“When I started this, I didn’t realise what a difference this small gesture would make, and it warms my heart to know how much it matters to the young recipients. This project is truly important to me, and it is my great pleasure to offer this help.”

Over the years, businesses, charities, and individuals have flocked to Norma’s cause.

This year Norma has prepared a record 250 hampers, helped by Evelyn’s Gift – a local charity set up by Helen Smith following her daughter’s passing at the age of seven.

Moved by Norma’s kindness, Helen got involved – and continues to contribute towards each hamper and rally for further support.

Norma added: “The more people I can help, the better. Donating money or organising collections within workplaces makes a real difference to this cause and many others.

“This time of year is a time for giving and an opportunity for people to think of others in their communities who may be in need. Donating to food banks or charity shops is an easy way to help, and the county has lots of volunteering opportunities for those who want to give their time.”

Coun Sue Markham, WCC’s spokeswoman for Children’s Services said: “Norma’s outstanding contribution to care leavers and asylum seekers across Warwickshire over the last 25 years is simply remarkable. Her enduring commitment and compassion continue to brighten the holiday season for those who need it most.”

Visit for more information about fostering in Warwickshire.

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