That’s right, we’ve only just recovered from last year and we’re already planning for Christmas. Each year, we seem to start planning a little earlier and with an increase in service users and rumours of a toy shortage, we’re getting ahead and starting our Christmas appeal before the summer has even ended.
Many of our families will struggle to provide a Christmas and this year will be hard for even more, after COVID and job losses. No child should go without a Christmas and this year we are determined to make sure that each of our families has a wonderful Christmas.
So how can you help? We rely on donations for our Christmas appeal. Each month in the run up to Christmas, we’ll be asking for a different item, toys, gift set, selection boxes etc. Our first request will be announced on Facebook tomorrow.
The easiest way to donate an item is via our Amazon wishlist. You can choose an item, maybe something you would have loved as a child, and have it sent directly to Emmeline’s. You’ll know that on Christmas morning, a child will wake up to a present, when they otherwise would have had nothing. If you would like to choose your own toy or gift set to donate, please get in touch directly to find out when to drop off. Every single donation makes a huge difference to families who are struggling.
A while ago we set out with the aim of transforming our outdoor space into a garden and allotment. The aim was to create a useful space where we could hold outdoor meetings, classes and toddler sessions. Thanks to our friends at MUD (Manchester Urban Diggers), we now have the plans in place to create an amazing garden which we hope will benefit the whole community.
Named “The Pankhurst Plot” is a sustainably funded project with MUD in collaboration with the Friends of Chorlton Park Group & Emmeline’s Pantry. A vibrant and versatile food growing community garden, incorporating a woodland walk, wild play area and mud kitchen.
The food grown will either be donated to the pantry or used in another zero food waste project. The garden will be maintained by volunteers and managed by MUD. The function of the garden will evolve naturally over time with it’s direction being decided through community partners input.
We have already started our Baby Choir, allowing new parents and their babies to meet socially in the garden. Our toddler group, Little Sprouts, starts soon and we hope to expand our schools outreach programme, so local school groups can come and work in the allotment and learn more about food poverty. So many of the children who visit us have no access to a garden of their own, so the garden will help us show how food is grown and ends up on our plates.
We have always been very fortunate at Emmeline’s to have a wonderful group of supporters, and the local community has provided such a warm welcome since we moved premises. Lots of local residents have offered up their expertise and manpower to help us create our garden, if you’d like to join them, please get in touch!
A special thanks must go to the hardworking volunteers at MUD, an amazing social enterprise providing us with a huge amount of support in this project. We’re really looking forward to seeing how it turns out!
As you might be aware, we’re planning to turn part of our outside space into an allotment. We’d love to hear from local residents who would like to get involved in our project. We’ve put together a quick survey so we can gather ideas on what we should grow and an idea of potential volunteer numbers. Please click on the link below to get involved.
After what has felt like a long winter for the world, we’re finally in Spring and we’re busier than ever. Service user numbers have more than tripled and we’re running a window service with fewer volunteers on site. Despite all this, we’ve done our best to support all the families that visit us and are now preparing for Easter.
We have continued our weekly Supper Club, with a takeaway for the families, kindly donated by some amazing local businesses. Each week, service users can take home a delicious meal, ready prepared, something that many of us take for granted. We have also started a wish programme. We’re asking each of our service users what they would really love and we’re asking our supporters to help make it come true. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for details.
Our other big news is that we’ve been given approval to start an allotment in the Emmeline’s garden. With the help of MUD, we hope to grow our own produce for the pantry and also teach the children who visit us about food production and healthy eating. If you’re local to us and green fingered, please keep an eye out for our posts requesting your help!
We are currently collecting Easter eggs, cakes and treats for the pantry. If you would like to donate one, or want to see what else we’re currently in need of, you can visit our Amazon Wishlist below.
Another way our wonderful supporters have been helping recently is to organise a delivery from a supermarket and have it sent straight to us, which is more convenient than making a delivery in person. If you would like to do this, please get in touch so we can give you our delivery address and times we’re open.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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!