Christmas comes early for thousands of disadvantaged children at Brent Cross

Kindness Offensive will be giving out presents to children across the capital

Brent Cross will be taken over by a Christmas kindness offensive today (Thurs), when a charity bus stuffed with presents rolls into town to launch a gift drive for London’s disadvantaged children.

The Kindness Offensive – a charity specialising in random acts of kindness – are sending 150 volunteers to Brent’s Winter Wonderland on a specially designed Route Master known as the ‘Kinder bus’.

During the visit, these Christmas helpers will hand out 200 presents donated to the children by the charity. This matches the number given by shoppers at the shopping centre, who have been donating gifts via a special Gift Tree at the shopping centre.

Brent Cross centre manager Tom Nathan said the shopping centre’s community focus sat well will the ethos of the Kindness Offensive.

He said: “The work of the charity reflects what we have been doing locally with a Gift Tree at the centre where shoppers are encouraged to donate.”

Presents are also being wrapped and delivered to London’s children’s homes and hospitals, including Guy’s and Barts. The Kindness Offensive delivered more than 4,000 toys to underprivileged children in 2011.

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However, it looked Christmas might be cancelled this year after a corporate sponsor withdrew support.

Fortunately, property developers Hammerson PLC stepped in to save the initiative – keeping Father Christmas alive for many disadvantaged children across the capital.

David Atkins, Hammerson chief executive, said: “We are thrilled that our donation means The Kindness Offensive can continue its excellent work and we have also offered offices beside our Brent Cross centre as a location for the Kinder Bus to prepare gifts.

“We have also pledged to work with them for 2013 and 2014 to make sure this great cause can go from strength to strength.”

Kindness Offensive spokesperson David Goodfellow described the funding as “mindblowing”.

“The response means we can deliver toys to more than 10,000 London children — two and a half times the number we had aimed for.

“Thousands of underprivileged and seriously ill London children who faced having no presents will now enjoy a bumper Christmas morning this year.”

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