Oxford law firm recruits local businesses to spread Christmas cheer to disadvantaged children

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Santa's elves at Oxford law firm Blake Morgan are calling on local businesses to support an appeal which will put the magic back into Christmas for children helped by social services, by making sure they receive at least one present this year.

The firm is once again co-ordinating the Secret Santa scheme, an initiative that last year saw more than 780 gifts given to children nominated by Oxfordshire Social Services, as well as Children Heard and Seen, an Oxford charity that helps children who have a parent in prison.

Those taking part are given gift tags which show the first names, ages and gift ideas of children who would appreciate a little extra Christmas cheer.

The volunteers at participating businesses choose the tag of a child they wish to buy for and then spend their own money on a suitable present before wrapping it and attaching the tag. Presents chosen by the children last year included anything from toy cars to toiletries to books.

All the presents are collected by 11 December at Blake Morgan’s offices at Seacourt Tower, in West Way, so they can be passed on to social services in time for Christmas.

William Downing, regional senior partner for Blake Morgan in Oxford, said: “Christmas should be a special time for all children and our staff are proud to be involved in a scheme which makes a big difference to disadvantaged youngsters at a time of year that would otherwise be quite difficult for them.

“Last year, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of local firms, we were able to provide 780 presents to children in need. This scheme relies on the support of local businesses and I am very grateful to each and every person that takes part.”

A reception will be held at Seacourt Tower for participating businesses before the presents are loaded into cars and taken away by social services and the charity in time for Christmas Day.

Businesses interested in taking part are invited to contact Emily Dyas at emily.dyas@blakemorgan.co.uk or call 01865 258 067.