By Abbie Walker and Rebecca Siddle
TEESSIDE media students have launched a campaign to help bring a touch of festive magic to disadvantaged children in the area.
Almost one in three children now live in poverty and Middlesbrough was last month named as being amongst the most deprived areas in England.
For many families, Christmas is a luxury they just can’t afford. This has prompted journalism students at Teesside University to join forces with regional radio station TFM and the Cash for Kids’ Mission Christmas campaign, to raise money, awareness and collect gifts for kids in the area who would otherwise go without.
The student group have set up a dedicated Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Just Giving pages and plan to take to the streets to raise money and collect Christmas gifts for local children.
They also held a fundraising day on campus on Monday 30th November, when students sold cakes in Teesside University’s Middlesbrough Tower.
Visitors were encouraged to bring a range of toys and clothes, while money donations were greatly appreciated.
Campaign co-ordinator Jess Dixon said: “It is devastating to think that so many children are actually living below the poverty line.
“And while Christmas is something that a lot of us take for granted, sadly the added financial pressure this brings is just too much for many families.
“That’s why we’re getting involved in this campaign – to help make a difference to children in this area on Christmas Day.
“We are trying to raise money and also collect new and unwrapped gifts that are suitable for children, from newborn babies to 18 year-olds – we are particularly asking for gifts for young babies and teenagers as these groups tend to get the least gifts donated.
“By simply buying one extra present this year you could be ‘someone’s Santa’ and make their Christmas.”
Drop off points for gifts have been set up on the fifth floor of Teesside University’s Middlesbrough Tower and within Rede House in Middlesbrough town centre.
Kara Hatton, Cash for Kids spokesperson from TFM said: “It’s great that Teesside University are getting involved with Mission Christmas campaign because it’s going to help so many extra people.
“We really do expect quite a big increase in applications this year, so all the extra help is appreciated.”
For more information on the campaign you can follow what the group are doing by going to:
Instagram – missionchristmas2015
And you can also make a donation through the group’s Just Giving page at: http://ift.tt/1PVTDcI