Last year the Plant and Hire Aid Alliance were delighted to bring a little Christmas cheer to the children of war-torn Ukraine. With your help, we were able to send no less than 30,000 Christmas presents, which were distributed to children right across the country.

A single present may seem like a small gesture, but it made a big difference for each and every one of those children. It showed them that they haven’t been forgotten. It showed them that the world still cares about them. Most of all, it showed them that however hard things may seem right now, there is always hope for the future.

Now it’s time for us to do it all again. As the conflict continues, with no apparent end in sight, this year’s Christmas present run is more important than ever – and we need your help to make it happen. You can help us in two ways…

Donate gifts for the children

Last year more than 30,000 gifts were donated, with presents coming from all quarters, from huge corporate donations to amazingly generous personal contributions. One gentleman drove from Essex to bring us over 100 toys, while a local lady brought 150 gifts to wrap in the Ardent boardroom.

Every present is appreciated, whether it’s a single cuddly toy or a corporate donation of dozens of gifts. To make your contribution, send your gifts to Arden Hire Solutions, 289 Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, IP3 9BS. Please make sure you attach a removable label to say which age group and gender the gift would be best for.

Join the wrapathon

Last year’s wrapathon was on such an epic scale that it made the BBC news! A massive 14,250 presents were wrapped in just ten hours by our amazing team of volunteers. And this year we’re doing it all again.

This year’s wrapathon will take place at Claydon High School in Ipswich on Saturday 18th November. We need as many volunteer wrappers as possible, to make sure that every gift gets wrapped in festive paper to complete the Christmas magic when they’re given out. If you’d like to join us at the wrapathon, please get in touch with – or simply turn up on the day. Every pair of hands will be very welcome as we tackle a mountain of generously donated gifts.

Greatly appreciated

Last year’s gifts were very much appreciated by families right across Ukraine. Gift giving events were organised all over the country, and they were featured on Ukrainian television as a moment of solidarity and support from the UK, providing a beacon of hope amid the chaos of the war. Even the military administrator of Luhansk, Serhiy Haidai held a gift giving event.

As you can see from the pictures, these small tokens of care and compassion brought huge smiles to the faces of children of all ages. “I feel overwhelmed with emotion,” said Aid Alliance founder Jeremy Fish last year. “For me, this is what Christmas is all about, doing something nice for other people. We’ve managed to bring a little bit of joy into their lives at such a difficult time. It’s heart-warming.”

Get involved today

Christmas may seem a long way off right now, but there’s a lot to do if we’re going to bring that joy to the children of Ukraine again this year. Now is the time to start donating those toys and gifts to the appeal, and if you can spare the time, please put the wrapathon date in your diary for 18th November.

On behalf of the children of Ukraine, we thank you for your support and generosity.