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Embrace is thrilled to announce that the Dear Santa 2018 appeal has been its most successful to date

With the countdown to Christmas well underway we can report that our Dear Santa campaign in 2018 has been the most successful to-date.

Thanks to your support, 1,037 child victims of crime across the UK will wake up this Christmas to a special gift funded by a stranger through our charity appeal.

Every child nominated to receive a gift has been impacted by serious crime including losing a loved one to homicide, through sexual abuse, domestic violence and neglect.

Referrals were received from every police force in England and Wales, Police Scotland, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and States of Jersey Police, as well as safeguarding professionals from Children and Family Services, support organisations and refuges.

Embrace Child Victims of Crime was the chosen charity partner for The Met’s Christmas Tree appeal which raised more than £25,000 to support young victims of crime in London. A Christmas charity day held by Blackpool Police raised more than £1,800 thanks to the Big Give.

Gift-wrapping sessions, carried out by around 40 volunteers and totalling more than 100 hours, took place at the Signpost Hub at Bedfordshire Police headquarters and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire (South); at Motorola Solutions and Brownsover Hall in Rugby, Staffordshire (Midlands and Wales) and at Airedale Enterprise Services in Keighly, West Yorkshire (North, Scotland and Northern Ireland).

UK Card and gift company the Card Factory supplied 200 rolls of Christmas wrap, joined by a number of businesses in Keighly. Free advertising to promote Dear Santa to 20,000 businesses in West Yorkshire was offered by Worth Valley Magazines and Falcon Construction Ltd of Cannock purchased multiple presents as corporate gifts. Many more businesses and organisations supported the cause.

Embrace CVoC special advisor Simon Kerrs, a public services practitioner for more than 20 years and now lecturer in Criminology at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, explains the therapeutic benefits of the Dear Santa appeal. Click here to read full article.

“Although professional support is frequently needed to repair the damage that witnessing a crime can cause to a child, by far and away the best therapy for traumatised children is a return to some semblance of ‘normalcy’, where for a few minutes, hours, or days the child feels as though they belong to a world where kindness, love and nurture are (perhaps for the first time) the ‘norm’,” he said.

“From war-torn parts of the planet, to areas of drought and famine, at this time of year we often see news footage of aid workers handing out gifts from abroad, perhaps along with a quick hug and reassuring smile in an attempt to try and heal the awful damage done to these children.

“So it is a little closer to home with the Embrace ‘Dear Santa’ appeal. Child survivors of crime in the UK deserve all the reassurance, love and kindness they can get.”

Chief Executive Anne Campbell said the charity has been overwhelmed by the ‘love and support’ for the Dear Santa appeal this year.

“Our aim was to help even more children and young people in 2018 and, thanks to a great deal of kindness and generosity, we will have done just that. The Dear Santa appeal goes from strength to strength,” she said.

“We’ve had wonderful feedback too from people who like knowing they can purchase a gift which the child has chosen for themselves directly via our Amazon wish-lists – and from children and families overwhelmed by this surprise gesture.”

Dear Santa 2018 remains open for donations until Monday December 24. Nominations for Dear Santa 2019 will open in the spring.