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Annual shoebox appeal launches to provide Christmas gifts for vulnerable children

CHS Group, a charitable housing association and social enterprise based in Cambridgeshire, has launched its 2022 Shoebox Appeal to ensure all of the young people across its supported housing services have a gift under the tree this Christmas. 

CHS Group provides a number of accommodation and support services in Ely, Wisbech and Cambridge – supporting people who would otherwise be homeless, young parents and their children, as well as people with autism, learning difficulties and those experiencing mental health issues. 

The CHS Group Shoebox Appeal, now in its fourth year, invites individuals, schools, churches, businesses and community groups to donate shoe boxes filled with a range of Christmas gifts.

This year, CHS Group is encouraging donations of gender-neutral presents, with recommended items including: toiletries, clothing, pyjamas, sweets, treats, stationery and gift cards. Personal notes or messages from donors are also encouraged in the shoeboxes. 

CHS Group is inviting donations from now until Monday 5 December, giving communities plenty of time to collect items for the appeal, while ensuring CHS Group’s staff members have enough time to check, coordinate, and distribute all the shoeboxes. 

For members of the community who would like to get involved but are unable to donate a filled shoebox, CHS Group has set up a JustGiving page for financial donations which will go towards making up a shoebox and supporting young people throughout the year. 

Nigel Howlett, CHS Group’s Chief Executive, said:

“Imagine a year with no Christmas presents. For most of us this is unheard of, but for many young people in our care across Cambridgeshire, it’s a sad reality. By giving the extra-special gift of a Christmas shoebox, you can bring so much joy and happiness to our residents, especially at a time when they may feel at their most isolated. 

“We were so grateful for the hundreds of donations we received in 2021; the generosity of the public provided some residents with their only present last Christmas. Whether you are able to give a shoebox filled with goodies, individual items to go towards a filled shoebox, a donation to our JustGiving page, or even simply an empty shoebox or gift bag for us to fill, it all makes a huge difference.” 

As in previous years, any surplus boxes or items received will be distributed to other community groups and charities across Cambridgeshire which also support vulnerable people. 

To find out more about CHS Group’s Shoebox Appeal, including what is suitable to donate, visit: To donate to the Shoebox Appeal via the JustGiving page, please visit: