Erin delighted with Community Christmas Giving Tree gifts
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Thanks to your generosity, thousands of presents have already been delivered to our police stations for our Community Christmas Giving Tree appeal and that’s meant we can start making a few early deliveries.
Father Christmas arrived at Colchester Hospital in the form of Acting Sergeant Nicky Southgate and PCSO Matt Ladkin, from Clacton Community Policing Team, who delivered presents to a very special seven-year-old.
They were just a few of the more than 4,000 gifts you have donated to our appeal for presents to give to vulnerable children across Essex at Christmas and more are arriving at our police stations every day.
Erin Sadler has been ill from birth but was diagnosed with multiple life-threatening and life-limiting diseases at 11 months old and has since spent most of her life in hospital.
When Nicky and Matt heard about Erin, they wanted to visit and give her her presents in person, including a fluffy toy cat from Nicky, which Erin immediately named Rupert.
Erin also got some bubble bath, colouring pens & a book and Happy Families cards, while her mum Helen and granddad Philip were given a hamper donated by Morrisons in Clacton.
“To meet Erin was such a delight. She is an absolute warrior and it was a pleasure to put a smile on her face. It was also was brilliant to be able to meet mum and grandad as well. I have to say, it was very moving and a memorable moment in my career.”
PCSO Matt Ladkin
“I was honoured and privileged to meet young Erin with her mother and grandfather after hearing that she was very poorly in hospital. Despite the number of diseases that Erin is fighting, she stays strong and her true bravery is such an inspiration. I heard that Erin’s favourite animal was cats so I specifically picked her a cat teddy bear which I hope will bring her joy and pleasure.”
Sgt Nicky Southgate
Erin has only recently been transferred back to her ‘home hospital’, having been treated at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London since becoming critically ill in late October and Helen said the family was ‘thoroughly touched to receive such kindness’.
“It was a really lovely surprise. Erin enjoyed meeting Matt and Nicky and getting her gifts. They were so kind. She has only known hospital life and so it was lovely for her to have visitors as she’s so inquisitive.
“She’s recovering from three operations in four days and she’s still very weak but she’s adamant she’s going to get up on her feet and walk – she doesn’t give up. She’s a little terror and really does have a zest for life.”
Mum Helen Sadler
Community Christmas Giving Tree appeal update
Your gifts have been arriving at our police stations every day and we’ve already received more than 4,000 which are now being wrapped by officers and staff who have volunteered to help.
If you haven’t already donated a present for a vulnerable child, there is still time to do so, as our appeal finishes on Saturday 19 December.
We are collecting new and unwrapped presents for all ages from newborn up to 17 – don’t worry, we have plenty of willing volunteers to wrap them for you.
Temporary Superintendent Lily Benbow brought the Community Christmas Giving Tree initiative with her from London when she joined us as Tendring district commander last year. She is delighted with the response so far.
“Sadly, we can’t invite volunteers in to help our officers and staff to help us with the wrapping this year as, like everyone, we’ve had to adapt what we do.
“So we’ve gone online and created Amazon Wish Lists for each district so that you can still donate, although some of our police stations are open if you want to deliver in person. Even though 2020 has been tough year for all, we won’t be deterred from giving children who would otherwise have nothing, a gift at Christmas.”
Supt Lily Benbow
This year we are again working with partners in each district to identify those children who will most benefit from your generosity on Christmas Day.
Here’s how you can help
Buy your gift and deliver it to one of the police stations listed below between 9am and 5pm on any day of the week up to and including Saturday 19 December. Remember it must be unwrapped and suitable for a child from newborn up to the age of 17.
If you want to donate wrapping paper for our officers and staff to wrap your present, that would be welcome, too.
Or you can order online and get your present delivered straight to your local police station. Each district has created an Amazon Wish List, if you would like to order that way.
Basildon Wish List
Basildon Police Station SS14 1EJ
Braintree Wish List
Braintree Police Station CM7 3DJ
Chelmsford Wish List
Essex Police College, Essex Police HQ
CM2 6DA (for postal deliveries)
CM2 6DS (for deliveries in person)
Colchester Wish List
Colchester Police Station CO3 3BU
Epping Forest Wish List - this is now closed but you are still welcome to post new, unwrapped gifts to Harlow Police Station, marked FAO Epping Forest.
Harlow Wish List
Harlow Police Station CM20 1HG
Southend Wish List
Southend Police Station SS2 6ES
Tendring Wish List
Clacton Police Station CO15 1ET