And so, we ‘wrap up’ on another Christmas campaign that delivered choice, dignity and care to local families. Santa will find these boys and girls, and the gifts and treats will bring some much-needed joy and relief to families across Surrey and beyond.
As always, Santa Stork is a team effort which would not be possible without the support of so many individuals and organisations. Grab a cuppa and a mince pie and let’s look back at our ‘story of Christmas’ for 2022…
Santa Stork 2022 in numbers
With your support, this Christmas we have provided filled gift bags for 4,434 children (each child received a main present and stocking fillers).
In addition, a further 1,496 children received Santa Stork stocking fillers (most commonly to support the Christmas gift campaigns being run by another local organisation).
We also gave out 1,480 Christmas bundles (Christmas jumpers/toys/books from our pre-loved stock).
And 1,258 parents/carers received a wrapped gift.
Together all these wonderful items have a value of approximately £111,570.
Christmas in July
Santa Stork started early this year, and on one of the hottest days of July we hosted a Santa Stork launch event at the Town Hall in Reigate. We knew that we had a challenge on our hands this year and it would be extra important to get our friends on board early.
We were acutely aware that the cost-of-living crisis was affecting everyone – not just the families who benefit from the kindness but also the donors that support Santa Stork – and our research had shown that the cost of the gifts had increased significantly.
We were shocked to realise that if we had bought the same gifts in 2022 as we did in 2021, they would have cost an additional £8,500. Fortunately, many of our partners share our belief that every child should have a gift to open on Christmas morning and they were happy to commit their support on the spot – Santa Stork 2022 was go!
The perfect location
A campaign the size and scale of Santa Stork needs a big space! Once again this year Reigate & Banstead Borough Council were able to offer the perfect place and we are grateful to the Executive Team for making it happen so smoothly. Having a separate location also allows our important core work to continue undisturbed from our warehouse.
Once the Stripey Stork Christmas tree and wreath were up and the Christmas music playing, Santa Stork was ready to begin.
The perfect toys
To ensure that we deliver smiles and joy on Christmas morning, we needed the perfect toys. Once again, we worked with local toy retailers Toy Barnhaus. Using their expertise and after gathering feedback from children of all ages, we were able to put together a catalogue with a fantastic range of gifts for 0-18 year olds. This is the third year that we have worked with Toy Barnhaus and we really value the partnership – as well as price-matching the high street and giving us an additional discount, their knowledge of supply chains, ‘can do’ attitude and customer service are a real asset to the campaign.
Our catalogue had lots of engaging toys for babies, brands such as Barbie and Marvel for younger children some great choices for older children and teenagers such as a wearable blanket and lava lamps. Firm favourites like the football (with pump), art case and pad and make-up case were also back this year.
Our referral partners were able to share the catalogue with the families they were supporting so that they could pick the present that their child would love.
Choice is one of the key parts of the Santa Stork campaign and one of the things that sets it apart from generic ‘toy drive’ campaigns. We believe that it is important to allow families to choose the gift for their child, particularly when families are experiencing poverty and may not have much choice in other aspects of their lives.
We know so many of you want to support the campaign and love choosing a gift online, so we were pleased to have our Santa Shop up and running again this year.
Giving with choice, dignity and care
At Stripey Stork we do our best to go above and beyond every day, and these values are at the heart of Santa Stork too.
Every child would receive their present and an age-appropriate stocking filler – a brand new book, chocolate coins or a selection box. We are so grateful to Penguin Random House for donating books that were perfect additions to the bags.
We recognise that no family wants to be in a position where they need to ask for help and we want them to remain involved in their child’s Christmas. As well as being able to choose the main present, we provided wrapping paper, tape and gift labels so that the families could wrap the gifts themselves.
Some of the toys in our selection required batteries so we made sure that these were included in every present bag. We know that children want to play with their presents as soon as they have opened them and there is nothing worse than not having batteries. Problem solved!
Throughout the year our volunteers sort through your weekly donations and any Christmas clothing, books and soft toys is kept to one side. This year we brought this gorgeous stock over to Santa Stork and began giving them out in the present bags. There were some very cute Christmas baby grows and of course some fantastic Christmas jumpers. We had several community groups collect Christmas jumpers on our behalf, some lovely people send us brand new ones and had a great response to our social media shout out. We’re sure lots of children are enjoying getting extra festive with these lovely clothes.
It’s not often that our catalogue doesn’t have an appropriate gift, but occasionally we get a special request and we’re happy to oblige. One such request came from one of our referral partners for Harry Potter loving little boy. He’d been having such a tough time and we wanted to make sure that he has something wonderful to open on Christmas morning. No challenge is too big for Chris, one of our chief Elves, and she set to finding the perfect present. We’re sure this little boy will now have a magical Christmas!
Santa Stork brings out the best in people and we certainly saw the best from our community. You all came together to ensure that we were able to make sure as many children as possible didn’t end up present-less this Christmas.
Whether you donated to our Crowdfunder, bought items from our Santa Shop, dropped off donations at collection points, liked our social media posts or talked to your friends and family, a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU from all of us at Stripey Stork.
We asked for your help with providing stocking fillers for each child we gave a present to. This year we had several drop off points across Surrey and we are so grateful to them all. They collected chocolate coins, selection boxes and toiletry gift sets.
Belfry Shopping Centre, Walter & Mair Estate Agents, Ralph James Estate Agents, Surrey Libraries, Epsom Downs Family Centre and CHAI in Banstead – we couldn’t have done it without it, so thank you for all your support!
There was more fantastic community support from Lisa at Tesco in Hookwood and her shoppers. Lisa set up a toy donation drop off point for shoppers to donate brand new toys. These have been fantastic and have added to our stock and enabled us to fulfil last-minute requests.
Reigate Methodist Church have really brought Santa Stork to the community and collected stocking fillers and toys. Chris from the project team spoke to the congregation and was overwhelmed by the support she received.
One lady in particular has really supported us this Christmas. Sue Leppard has bought brand new Christmas jumpers and collected lots of pre-loved coats and jumpers for us. We’re very grateful for your support.
A big thank you also goes to Elizabeth for delivering all the items to us at Santa Stork HQ. Thank you!
Local estate agents Ralph James have really gone above and beyond for Stripey Stork this Christmas. They took Stripey to meet the people of Dorking and Reigate at their Christmas community events and raised money for us by selling mince pies, mulled wine and raffle tickets.
Santa’s Grotto at The Belfry
Our friends at the Belfry Shopping Centre in Redhill always do a great job of bringing Christmas joy and sparkle to town. This year we were delighted to partner with them and Great Grottos to deliver the most wonderful Santa experience. You can read all about the fabulous Santa’s Grotto at The Belfry in our latest blog.
Our very own Elves
Where would Santa Stork be without our fabulous team of Stripey Stork Elves? They give up their time to come in full of festive cheer and ready to take on any task. This year they have worked alongside our corporate volunteers and it’s safe to say we couldn’t have done this without them. Thank you for all the love and care that you have put into every task. Thank you; Alison, Angie, Ann, Anna, Chloe, Chris, Cora, Elizabeth, Emily, Emma, Fiona, Jenny, Kersten, Lindsey, Maxine, Megan, Natalie, Pat, Pauline, Rowena, Sam, Sarah C, Sarah S, Susan, Trudy, Ursula and Wendy.
Our corporate volunteers have been welcomed to Santa Stork HQ and we’ve given them a full-on festive experience, even in early November! Christmas jumpers, mince pies and Christmas music have all helped get everyone in the festive spirit. They have spent time wrapping presents, checking orders, making up present bags, unloading deliveries, stock checking, meeting referral partners and sorting the recycling to name some but not all the tasks we have thrown at them. Their enthusiasm and hard work have been very much appreciated. Thank you to Celtic Contractors, Caytons Law, Future Proof Ltd, Grant Thornton International, Healys LLP, HSBC, Hyundai Capital UK, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Monty’s Bakehouse, Nestle Purina, Octavius Infrastructure, Osborne, Ralph James Estate Agents, Surrey Safeguarding Partnership, Toyota, VMware, and WTW.
Santa Stork would not have been possible without our project team. When our ‘Chief Elf’ Donna offered to make homemade mince pies for the launch event in July we knew her dedication to Santa Stork would see us through. A huge thank you goes to Donna, Chris, Gill, Jo, Abbie, Jayne and Margarida for working so hard to deliver this year’s Santa Stork project.
Our very own Santa delivery team
We have been so lucky to have our own team of Santa’s helpers this year in the shape of Morr & Co, Celtic Contactors, HPS Redhill and SES water. They collected and delivered presents to referral partners all over Surrey. It saved valuable time for busy health professionals and without them we wouldn’t be able to get these presents to the families in time for Christmas.
We’ve also had some special friends collecting various donations from across Surrey and delivering them to Santa Stork. Thank you so much Dave G, Dave C, Elizabeth and Ann T.
The difference it makes
Santa Stork is important to us, to the families we support and the referral partners that we work with. Many referral partners have told us that the families they are supporting are struggling to pay their bills and that Christmas will just not be happening because they can’t afford it. We know that Santa Stork can’t solve the big problems but it does bring some joy at this time of year.
Without your help there would be many children who are already suffering a bleak and cold Christmas, going without hope at this special time of year.
Referral partner from Surrey County Council
These families are struggling to get by each day. Because of this and the wonderful work you do, for one day they get to forget and enjoy themselves. When I hand out the gifts to parents you see the weight lift off their shoulders.
Referral Partner Warlingham Village Primary School
The gifts the families receive will help them to not worry.
Referral partner from Croydon Council
This special feedback we received directly from a grateful Mum reinforced just how important the extra touches are.
I just wanted to say a huge thank you. I received presents for my three children today through my Early Support Worker and I was taken aback by how special and thoughtful your charity is. To also include the wrapping paper, batteries and sellotape is brilliant and very much appreciated. I can’t thank you enough, the presents will make my children so very happy on Christmas Day.
We send all the families we have helped the most warmest of wishes for the festive period. Team Stork will continue to be there for those who need us into the new year and beyond, and thank all of you who make that possible.
Now that the presents are on their way and we know that Santa will visit all these little ones, let’s finish on a high with a final roll call to thank all our amazing Santa Stork 2022 donors and supporters – three cheers for you all!
Santa Stork 2022 donors and supporters – thank you!
- Ashford House Consultancy Ltd
- Bailhache Linton LLP
- Beaumont Care Home
- Caytons Law
- Celtic Contractors Ltd
- Charles Lewis Foundation
- Croydon Whitgift Rotary
- Daniel Hall
- East Grinstead mums
- Epsom Downs Family Centre
- Fiona Radford
- Fletcher George
- Form 10B, Dunnottar School
- Form 4A, Micklefield School
- Garnett Keeler
- Godstone Church
- Hayley’s Darts League
- Hazel Mitchell
- Hazelwood School
- HPS Redhill
- Hygiene Banks
- Hyundai Capital UK
- Jan Sparber
- Jenny, Bodyshop at Home consultant
- Jo and Emily Kennett
- John Smith
- Karl Hyder ‘man and van’
- Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions
- Merstham Cricket Club
- Micklefield School
- Morr & Co
- Nicola B (for design work)
- Oh Creative (for website support)
- Our Duke of Edinburgh volunteers
- Out and About magazine
- Paula Edwards (for communications and marketing consultancy)
- Penguin Random House
- Penny Kirk and Oxted supporters
- Persimmon Community Foundation
- Ralph James Estate Agents
- Redhill Methodist Church
- Redhill Redstone Rotary
- Reigate & Banstead Borough Council
- Reigate 5th Guides
- Reigate Grammar School
- Reigate Methodist Church
- Rowan Prep School
- Rowena Adams
- Sarah Christie
- Scheidt Bachmann
- SES Water
- Shona Gow designs (for design work)
- St John’s Primary, Redhill
- Stacey Solomon
- Sue Leppard
- Surrey County Council Members Allowance (Cllr Rebecca Paul and Cllr Victor Lewanski)
- Surrey Libraries
- Surrey Moves
- Tesco, Hookwood
- The Beauty Bank
- The Belfry Shopping Centre, Redhill
- The ICG Foundation
- The National Lottery ‘Awards For All’
- The Shanly Foundation
- The Walton Charity
- The Wisley Foundation
- Tom Graham (Photography and Film)
- Total Energies
- Toy Barnhaus
- Walter & Mair Estate Agents
- Wendy Percy
And a big thank you to our referral partners who work hard all year supporting families in our community and coordinate the Santa Stork gift requests