Support the Giving Tree and bring festive cheer to children in care

14 November 2017

As Christmas approaches, shoppers in Norwich Waterstones are invited to get into the festive spirit by giving the gift of a book to a child in care.

Norfolk County Council and Waterstones have teamed up again to launch the Giving Tree appeal.  Now in its twelfth year, this popular seasonal project aims to bring joy to the county’s looked after children.

Stuart Dark, Vice-chairman of the Children’s Services committee said: “This is a really heart-warming appeal which the people of Norfolk have generously supported for many years.  The tree is decorated with dozens of tags, each representing a child and the book they would like to receive this Christmas.

“Many of our children in care have experienced trauma in their lives.  The Giving Tree shows them that they are in people’s thoughts at a time of year that can be especially difficult for vulnerable children.”

The tree is up in store now.  Customers wishing to support the appeal, can buy the books, which are collected by the County Council and wrapped for the children in time for Christmas.  Last year’s response was overwhelming with staff wrapping and delivering over 300 books.

Books need to be purchased by Sunday 10 December so they reach children in time for Christmas.  This is because the books are often distributed through children’s schools but any bought after this date will be delivered in the New Year.

And there’s good news for people who can’t make it into the store – books can be purchased over the phone.  Just call 01603 767292 and ask for the Children’s Department or email norwich@waterstones.com

The Giving Tree is organised by the county’s Virtual School for Children in Care, which monitors the progress of all looked after children in Norfolk and ensures they have the best possible education.

Ben Richardson, Manager of the Waterstones store, said: "We are delighted to team up with Norfolk County Council again this year and have the Giving Tree in store.  Our customers love this appeal and we always get a fantastic response.  It’s heartening to join together at this time of year and share the spirit of the season with children in care.”

Notes

There are just over 1,100 looked after children in the care of Norfolk County Council.  
Of these, 860 are placed with foster carers.

For political comment:

Cllr Stuart Dark (Conservative) Vice-Chairman of the Children’s Services Committee, on 07450 679355
Cllr Emma Corlett (Labour) on 07557 634891
Cllr Dr Edward Maxfield (Liberal Democrat) on 07449 706 215

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