FOR most people, Christmas is a happy time spent with family.
But for some in our city, the festive season does not bring with it good memories.
So this year – in collaboration with churches, charities and support services – The News’ Comfort and Joy Christmas Campaign aims to help those in need with a Christmas card and a supermarket gift voucher.
Vicar of St Mary’s Church Reverend Canon Bob White said: ‘For most people, there is this myth created through advertising that Christmas normally involves being at home with your perfect family, with a perfect pile of gifts and perfect food.
‘But actually, most people’s Christmas may not be like that.
‘For some, that is so far from what they have that this is our chance to say that we want to share some of this with you and acknowledge that our Christmas won’t be like that, neither will yours, but we can share and help people get to the heart of the Christmas message.’
The campaign will help 11 agencies, from Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport and Havant, give their users the chance to make a good memory this Christmas and show that people across the area do care.
Canon Bob added: ‘This campaign is a very simple way of extending some care and support to people who are part of our community but are often ignored.
‘There are many ways that people can help support those in need but this is one that tries, at Christmas, to provide a very particular focus.’
The Christmas cards and gift vouchers will be collected by the churches and distributed out to the agencies.
Editor of The News Mark Waldron said: ‘Our campaign this year is about helping the people of our city and bringing some comfort and joy to their Christmas.’
In previous years the churches have raised an average of £10,000 in vouchers but this year the target is £15,000.
Canon Bob said: ‘There are lots of stories that show this has made a very personal difference in people’s lives.
‘We’ve heard of people moving into new homes, buying their families presents they would not have been able to have had or enjoyed a special meal.
‘This campaign is about humanity and building up our community.’
How to get involved...
TO get involved with this year’s Comfort and Joy Christmas Campaign follow these steps.
1) Buy a Christmas card and write a message (please do not include your name and address)
2) Purchase a supermarket gift card of £5
3) Put the gift card into the Christmas card envelope but do not seal the envelope
4) Place in a larger envelope (seal this one) and send to Deanery Office, St Faith’s Church, Crasswell Street, Portsmouth PO1 1HT