Oxford law firm helps bring magic of Christmas to youngsters
Christmas joy is being brought to children, thanks to the sterling efforts of a law firm and other Oxfordshire businesses.
Spearheaded by leading Oxford law firm Blake Morgan, the Secret Santa scheme has amassed an incredible 421 gifts for children.
The beautifully-wrapped presents have been handed over to Oxfordshire Social Services, as well as Children Heard and Seen, an Oxford charity that helps children who have a parent in prison.
This is the biggest ever response the law firm has had to its Secret Santa scheme.
The call-out was made in October when Blake Morgan called on local businesses to support the appeal.
Those taking part were given tags which showed the first names, ages and gift ideas of children who would appreciate a little extra Christmas cheer.
The volunteers at participating businesses chose the tag of a child they wished to buy for and then spent their own money on a suitable present before wrapping it and attaching the tag.
Hundreds of presents have filled two rooms at Blake Morgan’s offices at Seacourt Tower, in West Way.
Presents include everything from Lego, to toiletries to a starter angling set.
A reception was held at Seacourt Tower before the presents were loaded into cars and taken away by social services and the charity in time for Christmas Day.
Catherine Melis is a solicitor in Blake Morgan’s Commercial Team and co-ordinates the scheme for the firm.
She said: “The response to our Secret Santa scheme has been incredible this year.
“A few people have remarked that it has brought a tear to their eye.
“Last year we collected more than 100 presents, but more than 400 gifts is beyond anyone’s expectations.
“The scheme will ensure that children helped by social services and this important charity will get at least one present this Christmas.
“We have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity in donating presents.
“The initiative would not have been possible without the support of all the businesses.
“This scheme really does make a difference to the community and it’s nice for the children to know that people out there are thinking about them this Christmas.
“This gesture of goodwill reminds us all of what Christmas is all about.”
The businesses and organisations which donated presents were: Blake Morgan, Oxford University Press, Catapult, Aecom, 3PB, Cazenove Capital Management, Oxford Architects, businesses from Workspace Oxford, Charles Stanley, Wenn Townsend, Focus LLP, Merton College, St Anne’s College, Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre, Breckon & Breckon, Pennington Manches and SAID Business School.