At the beginning of September this year Corporate and Commercial secretaries, Clare Clark and Lucy Gibbs, were chatting generally about how depressing the news from around the world is and how upsetting they find it to constantly see pictures of children in crisis and not really be able to do anything to help.

This “chat” gave them the idea to get involved in the Operation Christmas Child Appeal, and now, a couple of months later, I am pleased to report that Clare and Lucy have proudly delivered 43 shoeboxes to St Stephen’s Church in New Town, TSP’s local collection point.

Operation Christmas Child has run for the last 25 years and to date has handed out over 100 million shoeboxes to the world’s most needy children. Shoeboxes are filled with a selection of toys, school supplies such as pens and pencils and hygiene items such as a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Clare said “Personally I love the idea that gifts I have myself chosen and popped into a shoebox will bring a smile and hopefully some joy to a child who perhaps has absolutely nothing, and as Christmas is for us lucky ones a time of fairly revolting over indulgence, giving and making the effort for a child for whom life is a daily struggle just to survive is something that really does make you feel you have done just a little good!!”

The gift boxes are delivered to children around Christmas time all over the world where there is war, conflict and famine – including Syria, Africa and countries affected by natural disasters such as the Philippines.

Lucy added “Thanks so much to all of the staff at TSP who really got behind our initiative and also to the Directors who contributed to 5 shoeboxes on behalf of TSP. We haven’t specified where in the world our boxes will end up but have asked for them to let us know where they were sent – they will do this early in the New Year”

Lucy (left) and Clare (right) – who have already set themselves a target of 60 boxes next year! – are pictured with the 43 boxes donated this year which are ready to be sent to children in deprived and war torn areas across the world.