Give a child in care a book they’ll cherish this Christmas

Would you like to do something special for a child in care this Christmas?

For the last six years Norfolk County Council’s Children’s Services department has teamed up with Waterstones to give people a way to buy a Christmas present for a child in care in Norfolk who will be away from their families this December.

They’ve done this by having a very special Christmas tree, a Giving Tree, in their shop on Castle Street in Norwich. The Giving Tree is back again this year and Children’s Services and Waterstones told us how it works.

The Giving Tree has become as much a part of Christmas to us as turkey, crackers and carols.

Could you spread a bit of Christmas cheer to a child in care in Norfolk? Picture credit: Hades2K

Could you spread a bit of Christmas cheer to a child in care in Norfolk? Picture credit: Hades2K

Instead of baubles, the Giving Tree is decorated with dozens of tags which have written on them some brief details about a particular child and the book, or genre of book, they would like to receive. That’s the particularly lovely thing about the Giving Tree – it allows people to give a present that a child or young person really wants, so they know the book or books they buy will be cherished.

People choose the tag or tags they want and take these with the related books to the till – and we do the rest. The County Council collects them and they’re then wrapped and delivered to the children.

To make sure they get to the children by Christmas people need to buy books from the Giving Tree by next Wednesday (12 December), this is because they’re distributed through the children’s schools. If you can’t make it along to the shop by then though, don’t worry, books bought from the Giving Tree after that date will be given to children in the new year – and receiving a book at any time of the year is still pretty special.

Many Waterstones customers look forward to the Giving Tree’s appearance and its popularity is really heartening – last year 229 books were bought for children in care in Norfolk, and we’d love to match that again this year.

We’re hugely grateful to everyone who has bought books from the Giving Tree in previous years, and it’s great to see people taking such pleasure in giving a book to a child who really appreciates it. We hope opening these gifts on Christmas Day reinforces to these children who haven’t had the easiest start in life that they really are cared about by people in Norfolk.

The Giving Tree is in Waterstones on Castle Street in the centre of Norwich now. The shop is open 9am – 7pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9am – 9pm on Thursdays, 8.30am – 7pm on Saturdays and 10.30am – 4.30pm on Sundays.

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