Law firm's Secret Santa Initiative gives children a Christmas present this year

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A Secret Santa scheme run by Oxford law firm Blake Morgan, in collaboration with Social Services and Children Heard and Seen, a charity providing support to children affected by parental imprisonment, has given over 700 disadvantaged children in the local area a Christmas present this year.

Following a call for support last month, the scheme has attracted local business and individuals to donate presents, almost doubling the amount of presents that were donated last year, including every child currently supported by Children Heard and Seen.

Local businesses such as Saïd Business School, Oxford Architects, Glanville Group, AECOM, and Carter Jonas to name a few took part. Many individuals also got in touch to be involved in the scheme.

Those taking part were given gift tags which show the first names, ages and gift ideas for the children.

The volunteers choose the tag of a child they wish to buy for and then personally buy a suitable present before wrapping it and attaching the tag. Presents chosen by the children included anything from toiletries to books, to a present they can gift to their parents.

A reception was held on 15 December at Blake Morgan’s offices at Seacourt Tower where the presents were collected and counted before being passed on to Social Services in time for Christmas.

Rob Mulvany, a solicitor in Blake Morgan’s Succession & Tax Team, who co-ordinates the scheme for the firm, said: “The response to this year's initiative was incredible.

“Last year, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of local firms, we were able to provide presents to 421 children in need. The scheme has grown phenomenally and I am pleased to say that we exceeded our initial ambition of providing gifts for 600 children by reaching a total of 780.

“Having volunteered with Social Services' legal team in the past, I know first-hand how a small gesture of a Christmas present can make a big difference to the children. I am delighted we have been able to support so many.

“This scheme relies on the support of volunteers and we really can't express enough thanks to the organisations and individuals that took part this year.”

Businesses interested in taking part in future Secret Santa initiatives are invited to contact Rob by email at Robert.Mulvany@blakemorgan.co.uk or on 01865 258 067.