Chief Executive Richard Lewis and Wimbledon Foundation Manager Helen Parker joined Merton Police Borough Commander Darren Williams on Centre Court in the run up to Christmas, to assist in the launch of a Christmas hamper initiative for local residents.
Metropolitan police officers and cadets will be helping bring Christmas joy to 2,500 of the most financially vulnerable families and individuals across Merton this weekend, delivering Christmas hampers donated by generous members of the local community.
Five hundred hampers, which will include all the ingredients to enjoy a complete Christmas lunch as well as toys and presents, were collected through a project run by the Doxa Deo Church and supported by the local Merton community, the local police, local MPs and the local authority. A hamper will also be presented to Mr and Mrs Harman, the elderly parents of Sergeant Ian Harman who tragically died whilst on duty at Merton this year.
The hampers have been funded by a number of donations, among them a signed Andy Murray photo, gifted by the AELTC, which raised £500 at auction, the equivalent of 20 hampers. The London Festival Orchestra and the Liquid Strings Chamber Choir performed a special concert with all proceeds going to the project, while the Leader of Merton Council donated the use of a VIP Box at the Emirates Stadium.
"For many people living in Merton, the Christmas holidays are not a joyful experience. Meeting the essential needs of life can so overwhelming that a festive celebration at Christmas is not only inconceivable, but financially impossible," commented Williams.
"I was delighted therefore to find out about a church group on my Borough that had set themselves the challenging target of delivering a complete Christmas Dinner hamper with everything needed for a full meal, to our most in need people across Merton this Christmas."
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