Council teams made it a Christmas to remember for those in need across the city


The Christmas spirit was truly alive last month as hundreds of presents were donated for children, meals were prepared for the homeless and Christmas experiences and performances were enjoyed by young people and their families.

The Children's Services Christmas Presents Appeal saw around 1,200 children and young people being given a wide assortment of presents for all ages, almost twice as many gifts as the previous year. The presents were gifted by the charity, the Mr X Appeal which has been collecting presents for children and young people in need for over 60 years, largely donated by a number of local organisations. Donations were also made by senior staff working in main theatres at the University Hospital of Wales, who supported the appeal again this year, generously providing a range of gifts. A great deal of planning went into the project to ensure that those children who don't have big Christmases had something to open on Christmas Day.

The Child Friendly Cardiff Team provided over 500 free tickets for families to experience a range of Christmas activities as part of the Cardiff Winter of Wellbeing programme. Children and young people enjoyed activities including ice-skating at Winter Wonderland and The Christmas at Bute Park light trail. Families and children also attended performances of the Aladdin pantomime and A Christmas Carol at the New Theatre and Sherman Theatre.

Over 600 Christmas lunches were prepared and distributed to Cardiff's homeless community. The ‘Struggles 2 Smiles' initiative which trains young offenders to cook and prepare meals, distributed the lunches to those living in hostels across the city over the festive period.

Cabinet Member for Children and Families, Cllr Graham Hinchey said: "The team has received some really special comments from families expressing their gratitude about how much impact it will have on their family life, with tears being shed by both families and staff alike. The comments received have shown that these programmes made a real difference in creating happy Christmas memories for all those involved."

Recently, the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) recognised the pioneering role that Cardiff Council has played as one of the first to join its Child Friendly Cities and Communities programme and that good progress has been made in embedding children's rights into the Council's strategies and the way in which our young people are supported and nurtured. As a result, UNICEF UK has recommended that Cardiff submits for Child Friendly City recognition this year. To find out more about Child Friendly Cardiff, please