Meet the Bedminster charity helping to deliver Christmas to some of Bristol’s poorest households

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The project was started during Covid to provide a Christmas to some of Bristol’s poorest households

A south Bristol charity has delivered more than 450 gift parcels, including more than 5,000 presents, to the area’s most disadvantaged children this Christmas.

Bedminster’s Pass The Parcel provides goodie bags for families with recommendations from local schools, hostels, shelters and food banks. The project is run by Action Greater Bedminster (AGB) and has pulled together more than 70 volunteers to help wrap gifts to be handed out before Christmas Day. Pass the Parcel was founded during Covid, delivering to around 800 families in the last two years but this year was by far its busiest.

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AGB chair, Ellie Freeman said: “We know this year may be just as difficult, if not more so for some people. With the cost of living crisis, things feel very different from this time last year. We’re focusing on choosing gifts that are useful as well as adding a touch of luxury or fun to people’s Christmases.

“I love being part of this project. The planning started in March so it feels pretty emotional to see it come to fruition.”

The Pass the Parcel project has delivered 450 gift bags to some of south Bristol’s poorest families.The Pass the Parcel project has delivered 450 gift bags to some of south Bristol’s poorest families.
The Pass the Parcel project has delivered 450 gift bags to some of south Bristol’s poorest families. | Pass the Parcel

Last week, the volunteer team began to deliver the parcels after spending hours wrapping and packing more than 5,500 inside St Paul’s Church. Items included in the gift bags are donated either by the public or from retailers based in BS3 including Wilko, Toyville, Aldi and Five Acre Farm.

Volunteer Robert Kean shared on Facebook: “[I] found it quite moving when I dropped in on Saturday - what an amazing job Pass the Parcel does to mobilise the community like this.

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“Once again, you and all the volunteers have made a huge difference to so many families’ Christmas this year. Thank you to all involved.”

The volunteer team organising some of the parcels ready for delivery on December 12.The volunteer team organising some of the parcels ready for delivery on December 12.
The volunteer team organising some of the parcels ready for delivery on December 12. | Pass the Parcel

The recipients are referred anonymously by schools, shelters and foodbanks with Pass the Parcel only knowing their age and gender before putting together the goodie bags. A fundraiser has been launched by the BS3 Community charity to ensure the project can carry on reaching “as many of those in need as we can and to ensure they get a little something special” around Christmas time. It has so far raised £7,368 of its £7,500 target.

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