Each year, we seem to start our Christmas preparations a little earlier and this year has been no exception. With the difficulties that COVID restrictions have added, we have had to think about how we can provide Christmas food and toys for a growing number of families, whilst still keeping clients and volunteers safe and working within the guidelines.
This year has seen a huge increase in the number of service users and as a result, Christmas at Emmeline’s will be busier than ever. We are lucky to have some wonderful supporters all over the world who generously give to ensure that vulnerable families, and those who are struggling financially, still get to enjoy their Christmas. To anyone who has been following our Facebook posts and has donated to our Christmas appeal, we thank you.
Whether it’s a cosy new pair of pyjamas on Christmas Eve, presents on Christmas morning or a turkey dinner, Emmeline’s aim to make sure that every family who visit can can enjoy those little treats that make up a Christmas and your support really does make a difference to a lot of children.
If you would like help our appeal, you can donate using the link below, or go onto our Amazon wishlist and choose a gift for a woman or child. The gift will be sent directly to Emmeline’s and distributed at Christmas time.
It’s auction time!
To raise money for our brilliant cause, some generous businesses have donated prizes for us to auction off and raise much needed funds for Emmeline’s.
To place a bid, simply email us at email@example.com with your name, bid, lot number and the name of the item you’re bidding on.
Each day, we’ll post the list of items with the highest bid so far. You can make as many bids as you like on as many items as you like and bids will close at 7pm on Saturday 25th July.
Over the last few months, like many charities and businesses, we’ve had to dramatically change the way we do things. We have always tried to provide everything a woman and her family may need to help rebuild their lives after sometimes traumatising experiences. Lately though, we have had to scale back our services, providing only food and essential toiletries and household products.
However we still have a great many women coming to us immediately after fleeing domestic violence or trafficking. These families often have nothing but the clothes they stand in. We are currently unable to give out the donated used clothing which would normally be in our Boutique room. For this reason, we’re asking for donations of new clothing (or money for us to purchase them). We have added clothing for women and children to our Amazon Wishlist, for anyone who wishes to donate this way. If you have new clothing to donate, please give us a call or drop us a message on Facebook to see when we’re open for drop offs.
As many if you know, for a while now we have been lucky enough to have Coronation Street star, Dolly-Rose Campbell as our celebrity ambassador. She has never been shy at rolling up her sleeves and pitching in to help. From handing out food at Christmas to fixing the toilet, Dolly has played an important role in the volunteer team. Since filming has temporarily paused, Dolly has been volunteering at Emmeline’s, helping to organise and distribute donations.
After hearing about her efforts and those of the other volunteers, Manchester Evening News wrote a story covering the work we do. You can read the article by clicking on this link…
As we anticipated, this year was our busiest Christmas so far. So busy in fact, we’ve only just recovered. In previous years, we invited clients to come in and receive donations of food, pyjamas and toys at various appointment times throughout the day. It has always been hectic but wonderful. This year, however, we knew we would have greater numbers so we increased our appointments to stretch over two days. We roped in a few extra elves to help distribute donations and even had a surprise visit from Alexandra Mardell from Coronation Street, who mucked in and helped out in all the chaos.
All in all, we distributed donations to 96 clients who visited over 2 days. This included food for those 96 women, 158 children and 46 additional adults.
We also provided food for other charities which fed an additional 100 people.
As well as food, we distributed 2064 toys for 608 children. We even had donations of Christmas trees and decorations for those families without them.
Ali working hard in the office
One of the toy kitchens we gave away, and the lucky boy who opened it on Christmas morning
We could not have done any of this without our loyal supporters. Whether you volunteered, donated, bought from the wishlist or simply shared our posts on social media to spread the word, we want to say thank you. We received many letters from clients after Christmas explaining how without these donations, their family would not have had a Christmas. The Christmas dinner, the treats, the presents and the decorations all add up to a Christmas that parents can look forward to, not dread.
We expect next year to be even busier, we dread to think when we’ll have to start planning it! For now though, we are organising our first Emmeline’s Pantry Jamboree, so look out for information on our Facebook page.
As some of you may already know, we have a scheme called Making Memories, where we aim to provide service users with tickets to shows and events or vouchers for a meal out. Every family deserves to celebrate birthdays and achievements, or simply treat their children to something a bit special every now and then.
In October 2020, we are hoping to take some of our families to see a matinee of Disney’s the Lion King at the Palace theatre. For many of our service users, this is the first time they have been able to take their children to see a show and that’s why we’re raising money to buy as many tickets as possible. If you would like to donate, you can do so at
People often ask us how they can help Emmeline’s Pantry. We welcome volunteers, but with busy lives, families and jobs, many people aren’t able to volunteer their time on a regular basis, as much as they’d like to. So here’s a list of things you can do, every contribution counts and we’re grateful for all that our supporters do;
Do you regularly shop at the Co-op? If you don’t already have one, you can apply for a membership card. As well as earning points to spend in store, you can log on to their website and select a local charity to support. Emmeline’s Pantry are one of their causes for the next 12 months. By choosing us as your local cause, a percentage of the money you spend on Co-op products will go to us, at no extra cost to you.
A lot of people say they’d like to donate items to us, but don’t know what we need. We have set up a wishlist on Amazon, where you can order directly from the list and orders will be delivered to us. That way, you can be sure that you’re donating exactly what we need and it will come straight to us.
Last week we celebrated with some of our supporters and volunteers with a fair in our new building. We had a raffle, with some amazing prizes donated by local businesses, vouchers and hampers. Cara from the Body Shop came along so we could buy some treats and presents for loved ones. Levy Chorus came and gave a fantastic performance to get us all in the mood for Christmas.
We had brownies and mince pies from Albert’s Restaurant in Didsbury, a table top sale, Christmas grotto, tombola and story time. Everyone had a brilliant time and we all started to feel like Christmas is really on its way. By the end of the day, we’d raised £396!
We hope to make these types of event a more regular occurrence at Emmeline’s, so look out for our Facebook posts so you can come down and meet us!
In November, we’ve been fundraising to try and give all our women and their families a wonderful Christmas. We are very fortunate to have some amazing supporters who respond to our requests for help. Just this week, we asked our Facebook followers for help in buying nappies, as this is something we struggle to afford enough of. Within a few days, we had raise £525 to purchase a bulk discount of nappies. These will keep us going for a long time, and ensure that every mother who visits us won’t have to worry about nappies for her children.
Our next fundraiser was an auction for a Manchester City shirt, signed by Joao Cancelo, donated to us to raise money. After all the bids were in, the winning offer was a whopping £110! This money will go a huge way to paying for Christmas food and give Christmas to families who might otherwise have struggled to provide anything. Thank you to all who made bids.
We also had some Christmas trees and decorations donated by a charity called Everyone Deserves A Little Sparkle At Christmas, which were distributed to families who wouldn’t have been able to afford a tree of their own.
In December, we will be collecting the following for our Christmas drive;
Christmas food treats
New toys (we particularly struggle for presents for babies and teenagers)
Stay tuned for more ways on how you can help Emmelines…
We keep our Amazon Wishlist on regularly up to date with things we are currently collecting. Go and have a look there for any ideas you’d like to gift us!