Staff at social action collective, HIVE Portsmouth, were delighted to receive a donation of over 100 books, puzzles, games and toiletries from the city’s largest independent pharmacy for children who will be living in poverty this Christmas.
Lalys Pharmacy made the donation to ‘Mission Christmas’, the UK’s largest annual Christmas toy appeal organised by the charity Cash for Kids, which works closely with social workers, schools and local charities such as the EC Roberts Centre and Headstart, to identify families in crisis.
“The aim of Mission Christmas is to make sure that even children of families that cannot afford to buy presents this year, have a gift to unwrap on Christmas Day,” explains Katy Walsh from the Community Engagement Team at HIVE Portsmouth.
“Not being able to take part in a tradition that every child knows about can easily lead to feelings of isolation, vulnerability and sadness at what is supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year.”
In addition to the generous donation from the business itself, all four branches of Lalys Pharmacy at London Road in North End, Kingston Road in Fratton, Fawcett Road in Southsea and Guildhall Walk are collecting donations of new and unwrapped games and toys from customers and patients to add to the collection.
“This is a wonderful initiative which we are very proud to support,” says Baldev Laly, Director of Lalys Pharmacy. “In our work, we often see families who are struggling for a wide variety of reasons, so being able to take away any guilt or embarrassment over not being able to provide a present seems very much what Christmas is all about.”
“We can’t thank Lalys Pharmacy enough for their support and generosity,” says Kate. ‘Such a wonderful collection of presents are going to make a lot of children happy this Christmas.’
HIVE Portsmouth and all official Portsmouth libraries will be collecting donations for ‘Mission Christmas’ until Friday 13 December.