It all started when Ayoola one of our team that supports young parents asked if we could find some extra money to buy gifts for the parents and children she was supporting.
In response, our part-time communications officer (Sarah) set about setting up our first ever digital campaign. We had no idea if it would work! But work it did.
Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, staff and trustees we raised nearly £2000 and had 70 gifts delivered to our HQ.
The Warm Welcome campaign was a great success and we are thrilled with the results.
It meant that every single parent and child we work with was able to get a small gift. There is also money to make sure we can give families a warm welcome in lots of other different ways, from providing them with homecooked meals to welcome bags packed full of essentials for their first few days with us.
Its been so wonderful hearing the responses from our staff, the mums, dads and children
Ayoola told us:
"The response has been real gratitude and appreciation as many did not expect anything. One person from the DV group felt that we had given her so much already and that she should have given us gifts. When we gave the gifts to one mum, Sarah, tears just welled up in her eyes. She was so choked up, she couldn't believe people had been so thoughful.Then Claudi was jumping up and down, so excited, she said "Oh wow I love Dove.. I soo needed some deodorant."
Sheila another of our team received this wonderful text from another mum:
"I also want to thank you for your time effort and love you have give to me and my children! I am literally crying my eyes out writing this message. I'm so grateful that you guys came into my life when you did. I appreciate you and your course so much! I love you all from the bottom of my heart and I am gonna miss you dearly! Thanks again for my Christmas hamper and all the gifts. I don't do Christmas but my kids had the best time! You took a lot of the mum guilt away xxxxxx
Today one mum came in and said how lovely the gifts were:
"I really loved the Dove set and the boys loved their gifts too. It was the only present I got."
As well as the generosity of our supporters, we also got Christmas hampers donated from the Samaritans in West Norwood, a hamper from the staff and customers at Brixton Recreation Centre and also gifts for all the children at our Friday Group from Streatham Youth and Community Trust and their supporters. It really felt like everyone pulled together.
Here's a message from Sue Pettigrew, the director of St Michael's:
“I want to thank everyone who donated money or gifts to our campaign. We were so pleased with how many people took part. It’s been wonderful, seeing the gifts arrive and hearing what a difference it has made to the families we work with. Our teams work extremely hard to build trusting relationships with parents, this campaign helped us show them how much we care, how much our supporters care.
"We work with some of the most vulnerable families in the country. Our work is about breaking the cycles they are trapped in. This could be because of poverty, abuse or neglect, sometimes all three. Lot of these parents feel abandoned and alone and like no one cares. We are here to show them that someone does care and to help them turn around their lives and the lives of their children.”
For more information about how you can help us raise much-needed funds, go to our 'Get Involved' section.