Rugby's secret Santa hopes to spread cheer among former foster care youngsters - The Rugby Observer
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Rugby's secret Santa hopes to spread cheer among former foster care youngsters

Rugby Editorial 22nd Dec, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016

A HUMANITARIAN foster care worker is hoping to put Santa to shame by sending 100 Christmas hampers to young people in Warwickshire who have no family.

For the last 15 years, Norma Wilson, a placement Support Worker for the Rugby Fostering Team, has put together the festive goody-boxes to make a difference to young people and asylum seekers who have recently come out of foster care and now live alone.

Now, with the help of neighbours, friends and work colleagues, she hopes to beat last year’s personal best of 62 hampers.

The hampers include gifts such as Christmas socks, gloves, mince pies, biscuits, soups, toothbrushes, sheets and anything else that might be of use. If the foster leaver has a baby or is pregnant, Norma will also put presents on top for the child.

Clothing store Next has donated 35 male and female toiletry sets, while Tesco has given £50 to spend in store.

Norma said she was overwhelmed by the response, and added the hampers make a real difference to those who would otherwise not receive any yuletide gifts.

With the help of neighbours, friends and work colleagues, Norma hopes to beat last year’s personal best of 62 hampers.

She said: “This year has been the best ever for gifts and donations towards the cause and I have seen just how kind and generous everyone can be at Christmas.

“Social workers receive dozens of cards from young people saying how much the boxes have helped them and it’s always nice to think that somebody cares. This is the busiest time of year for me and it’s a huge success to us all.

Coun Dave Parsons, chair of Warwickshire County Council’s Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said: “Norma is known in the community for her hard work and determination to help those who are most vulnerable.

“She will always lend a helping hand and succeed in bringing happiness to Warwickshire care leavers.”

Council spokesman for children’s health Coun Les Caborn said: “A huge well done to Norma for bringing such positivity and enthusiasm to such a worthwhile and rewarding cause.”

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