RAF and Job Centre Plus join forces for Polar Express Delivery

STAFF at Job Centre Plus have teamed up with St Athan RAF to create a "Polar Express" service , delivering presents to children in need.

Hundreds of Barry Job Centre Plus staff have been busy collecting Christmas gifts for underprivileged children which will be sent to Barnardo’s Children’s services across Wales.

Job Centre Plus Staff have spent weeks collecting quality gifts for children of all ages.

Anne Cheshire, from the Barry Job Centre Plus started the initiative 12 years ago and the annual fundraiser now includes all Job centres throughout Wales, to ensure that some of the most disadvantaged children in Wales will receive a gift this Christmas.

She said: "“The Barnardo’s Christmas Toy Appeal we organise is very important as imagining a child at Christmas without any presents is unthinkable.

"We were thrilled in Barry when we found out that our colleagues across Wales wanted to support us. The whole thing has been a mammoth operation but just so worthwhile.

“Each member of staff was given the age and gender of the recipient and some ideas of the child’s like and dislikes, the rest was up to the individual to choose a suitable gift and I have to say their generosity was absolutely staggering”

The ‘Polar Express’, a four-ton truck manned by RAF personnel from St Athan, has for the past week toured the length and breadth of Wales collecting toys from more than 20 various locations.

St Athan wing commander Robert Balls, said: “Christmas is such a special time for children and of course everyone knows that Santa sometimes needs extra pairs of helping hands.

"At the end of the day what could be better and more rewarding than being part of such a wonderful project that ensures children have the best possible Christmas.”

Lisa Channon from Barnardo’s Cymru said: "Barnardo's would like to thank Job Centre plus for their generous donation of Christmas presents and for the speedy delivery by our wonderful colleagues at the RAF.

"We'll be giving the presents to the children whose families use our services, some of whom will be having Christmas parties over the coming weeks.”


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