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Charities at Christmas

According to NHS England, over 40,000 children in the UK are left with a brain injury as a result of accident or illness every year. The Children’s Trust is the leading UK charity which offers aid to children living with a brain injury or neurodisability. The charity delivers rehabilitation, education and community services with skilled teams who work to support the children, their families, and aid young people who are living with long-term difficulties. The charity has an in-house paediatric brain injury rehabilitation service which seeks to maximise each child’s potential, restore lost skills, facilitate new learning, among other aims. Donations towards the charity also go towards research which supports clinical research. The charity is also home to The Children’s Trust School, which is a residential non-maintained school for children aged three and upwards who live with profound multiple learning difficulties. What can you do to help? The Children’s Trust notes that music is a powerful force to inspire, and has launched The Extraordinary Music Box Appeal to raise money for music therapy, instruments and outings this Christmas.

Support the local charity and its musical campaign this Christmas by visiting

Epsom Methodist Church will be hosting a traditional Christmas lunch in its community hall this Christmas, available for free to singles or couples in the borough of Epsom and Ewell who would otherwise be on their own on Christmas Day. The church has been hosting this event for years and it has proved exceptionally popular in Epsom and Ewell, with around 60 guests each year, including the Mayor and Mayoress. The event is supported by volunteer members of the church and local community, who get involved in cooking, preparation and welcoming the guests.

What can you do to help?
There are regular helpers from within the church and the surrounding community who return each year and have a great time preparing on Christmas Eve and helping to run the event on the day. If you know someone in your community who might like to join for Christmas Day, please refer them onto the Epsom Methodist Church Office for further information.

Having recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, St Raphael’s in Sutton has offered hospice care to people with terminal and lifelimiting illness living in the boroughs of Merton and Sutton since 1987, and continues to do so through funding from the local community (80% of its running cost) and the NHS. The free hospice service provides exceptional palliative and end-of-life care, with hospice doctors working closely alongside specialist home care nurses, general practitioners, community nurses and social services. Ultimately the hospice aims to relieve symptoms, sustain quality of life, and support end of life care and care after death. The hospice also cares for the family and friends of those with life-limiting illnesses, offering support and counselling to partners, family, and close friends and providing advice for coming to terms with grief. St Raphael’s Hospice services also includes day therapy at the Jubilee Centre, providing creative opportunities for those in need with social days out, access to physiotherapy, comforting therapies, welfare advice and emotional support while giving carers a break.

What can you do to help?
The hospice needs £6 million a year to run, relying heavily on public donations to keep going year after year. If you would like to make the difference to the lives of St Raphael’s patients and their families this Christmas, please consider supporting them by making a donation, undertaking various fundraising activities, attending hospice events, donating your unwanted items, joining its weekly lottery or volunteering.

Please check St Raphael’s website at or call its Fundraising Team on 020 8254 2450.

Did you know that Epsom plays host to one of the oldest charities in the UK? SeeAbility, formerly known as the Royal School for the Blind, will celebrate its 220th anniversary in 2019. SeeAbility champions better eye care for people with learning disabilities and autism, many of whom have sight loss. The people they support overcome huge barriers to achieve exciting new things every day. What can you do to help? Desiree D’Souza, director of partnerships, says: “We are incredibly grateful to our many volunteers and supporters who live in Surrey. You make it possible for the people we support to live extraordinary lives and we wanted to thank you for this.” You can join SeeAbility at its very special Christmas concert at the St George’s Christian Centre, Ashtead on 5 December.

It promises to be a magical evening of seasonal songs, from artists including Daniel Wakeford (Channel 4’s ‘The Undateables’) and readings to get you into the festive spirit.

Tickets are £9.50. christmas-concert
01372 755042