AN ARMY of elves from across Lancashire have jumped into action to raise vital funds for Derian House Children’s Hospice this Christmas.
Schools and families throughout the region have taken on elf duties this festive season and are selling gingerbread plush toys in a bid to raise money for their local children’s hospice.
Derian House Children’s Hospice, based in Chorley, provides respite and end-of-life care to more than 400 young people across the North West. It costs £4.8 million to run its services every year, and with less than 10 per cent of this coming from government funding, the charity relies heavily on the support of the local community.
The response to the fundraising challenge has so far been outstanding with hundreds of supporters getting involved to raise money for the hospice and spread some festive spirit.
One of the little helpers, Jess, has a very special reason for taking part. Her mum, Jackie, told us: “Jess is on a mission to sell all of her gingerbread toys in memory of her friend Jacob, and as a way of thanking the lovely team at Derian House for taking care of Jacob and his parents this time last year.”
Jess, aged 9, added: “Lots of people have been kind and made donations and bought gingerbread boys and girls, thank you everyone.”
The adorable gingerbread men (and women) can be enjoyed without the mess of baking, or the calories! The popular plush toys can be used as Christmas tree decorations or made into keyrings and given as a gifts.
Local businesses have also purchased boxes of the gingerbread plush toys to form part of homemade Christmas decorations and Christmas Eve Boxes, with a percentage of the proceeds donated back to Derian House.
Sarah Proctor, Community Fundraiser at Derian House said: “We are absolutely amazed at the level of support that we have received so far and it has been really touching to hear stories from those with personal connections to Derian. The challenge is a fantastic way for children to get involved in charity fundraising and it is great to see that they are having so much fun dressing up as elves and even getting their pets involved!”
The coronavirus pandemic has meant a difficult year for Derian House with normal fundraising activities affected by Covid-19.
Sarah continued, “This year has been a real struggle financially, even more so due to the cancellation of our traditional Christmas events. We couldn’t be more thankful to everyone taking part in this fundraiser. Our lovable gingerbread toys really are bringing joy to the community and building excitement in the run up to Christmas.”