Help families by putting Christmas in a box

Andy Barr and the 10 Yetis team filling some of their boxes

Andy Barr and the 10 Yetis team filling some of their boxes - Credit: Archant

We all want to help families in need at this time of year. Here’s a simple but effective way that you can help spread some Christmas cheer

Cotswold Life readers are being asked to dig deep and bring some Christmas cheer to those in need in Gloucestershire.

Thousands of families are doing without this festive season and we want to help them by providing a hamper of goodies delivered to their door.

For the first time, Cotswold Life, the Gloucester Citizen and the Gloucestershire Echo have launched a joint festive campaign called the Christmas Box Appeal. We want families, businesses, schools and other organisations to get together a box of groceries using the list in the panel on the right which will then be given to someone in need by Gloucestershire County Council.

The initiative comes as local authority figures reveal that there are 5,400 families and a further 4,900 pensioners living in deprived areas in Gloucestershire alone.

One business which has already signed up to the appeal is 10 Yetis PR, based in Gloucester. The team there have put together dozens of boxes which they will donate to the appeal.

Managing director Andy Barr says, “This a great cause that as soon as I heard about, I wanted to get involved with. Everyone within 10 Yetis has got on board and been making up and packing the boxes, and I am really proud that as a company we have been able to kick off the campaign by donating around 60 boxes.

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“Even if we are only able to help a few Gloucestershire families have a better Christmas then this is surely good thing. I really hope fellow business owners and the Gloucestershire community as a whole get behind the Christmas Box Appeal.”

All 31 of our local authority libraries will act as box drop-off points between December 10 and December 15.

Cotswold Life editor Mike Lowe says, “There are so many people in the county who are in need and this appeal is just one way to help them this Christmas. It is great to be teaming up with other media partners in Gloucestershire to really get the message out there and raise awareness of the appeal.

“If you are thinking of how to help others this festive season, then why not just add a few extra items to your supermarket shop over the next week or so and put together a box. It could really help brighten someone’s Christmas.”

Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, says, “I really hope local people get into the festive spirit and get behind this campaign because a small gesture could make a huge difference to someone’s Christmas Day.”

Christmas dinner in a box!

Donate food for a family of 4–6 to celebrate this Christmas. Each box contains enough food for Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, treats like mince pies and biscuits, and of course Christmas pudding, which all go to make up a feast for a family in need. Due to storage and distribution limitations, we can’t accept fresh food but there are plenty of good things to eat that can still be included. A typical box costs around £30 but you can share the cost by getting together with friends, neighbours and colleagues to fill a box together.

Here’s what to do!

• Get shopping! Make sure that everything you buy for the box will still be in date at Christmas.

• Cover a cardboard box in Christmas paper

• Tick off each item on the checklist as you put it into the box. You can add other items too – please let us know what else is in your box by writing it in on a Post-it note attached to the box.

• Drop it off at one of the collection points between December 10-15.

Christmas box checklist

Everything you need to include in your Christmas box:

• 2 x tins of meat

• Tin of potatoes

• Tin of sweetcorn

• Tin of carrots

• Packet of bread sauce

• Jar of cranberry sauce

• Gravy granules

• Stuffing

• Christmas pudding

• Mince pies

• Packet of custard (or brandy sauce)

• Tin of fruit

• Packet of nice, sweet biscuits

• Box of chocolates

• Packet of ‘nibbles’ (peanuts or similar)

• Chocolate log or Christmas cake

You’re welcome to add other Christmas treats to your box (please don’t include alcohol, cigarettes, vouchers or any perishable food).

Please put all the items into a box wrapped in Christmas paper and take it to one of the collection points by Sunday, December 15.

For a list of county libraries, visit