16 Dec Essex children with additional needs receive gifts from the Bluewater Giving Tree
Tyler and Anabella Semple from Essex are receiving gifts this year from the Bluewater Giving Tree, thanks to a partnership with Kent charity Tree of Hope.
Four-year-old Emmie Gizatullin will also be receiving a gift from the tree, thanks to the generosity of Bluewater shoppers.
Each year, shoppers at Bluewater are able to select a tag from the Giving Tree Christmas Tree which has the name and age of the child, and then they can choose a gift from one of the stores to gift a child for Christmas.
After gifts have been quarantined, they are then delivered to the child by Maidstone-based Aylesford Couriers in plenty of time for Christmas.
Mum Charley-Anne, 29, who lives in, Grays, Essex and has fundraised over £10,000 for her son Tyler 8 who has autism, with Tree of Hope. Tyler and his younger sister Anabelle, 7 are recipients of Giving Tree gifts this year. Charley-Anne said:
‘Having a seven and eight year old is wonderful at Christmas – it’s magical. Both my children love Christmas but each struggle in their own way with this eventful and overstimulating time of year. They both have a diagnosis of autism and Tyler also has a mix of other complex neurological issues including Tourette’s Syndrome.’
‘It’s difficult to manage toe expectations and experiences of Christmas but we do our best. The Giving Tree at Bluewater is a fantastic way of spreading Christmas spirit. The children are very excited about their presents but also do a lot of gifting themselves too. We’d like to thank everyone for their kindness.’
Hannah Gizatullin, 41, from Colchester, Mum to little Emmie who has a life-limiting one-in-a-million genetic condition and whose family are raising money for adaptations to their house as well as hydrotherapy and physiotherapy said:
‘We are all so excited about the presents from the Bluewater Giving Tree. It is so special to know that people care about our children and understand how special it is for disabled children to really experience the magic of Christmas. It is so wonderful for Emmie and obviously she cannot wait to open her presents. Her brother Adam is a teenager but it really matters to him that there are people thinking about us and are so generous. We are very grateful to be included in this initiative and want to say a massive thank you!’
Tree of Hope gives families charity status to raise money for treatment, equipment and other healthcare needs for their children which they are not eligible for on the NHS, making campaigns eligible for gift aid, corporate support and provides donor reassurance so that families can raise the money they need quicker and more effectively. This year 24 children, along with all their siblings, supported by Tree of Hope, will be receiving gifts from the Giving Tree.
Gill Gibb, Tree of Hope CEO said: ‘We are delighted to once again be partnering with Bluewater for their Giving Tree event. Christmas can be a challenging time for many of the families we support for many reasons, and this event helps bring an extra element of Christmas cheer. We’d also like to thank Aylesford Couriers for their help in getting the gifts to where they need to go, as well as, of course, to all the generous shoppers who have donated and The Giving Tree team.’
Gifts for the Bluewater Giving Tree can be bought until December 22. To find out more, visit https://bluewater.co.uk/giving-tree-2021