Christmas Appeal

The SSE Arena, Belfast will act as a central hub, where hundreds of volunteers will pack thousands of food hampers, along with toys and gifts for families in need this Christmas.

The Stena Line Belfast Giants are joining a host of local sports stars, community partners, groups and schools to back the major cross community initiative, which will provide food hampers, toys and gifts to families in need across the city, and Juice1038 will be broadcasting live from the arena every weekday from 1-4 with Dylan McKee.

North Belfast Advice Partnership and The People’s Kitchen Belfast, working in partnership with a range of community groups and charities across city, are spearheading the #ChristmasAppeal2020 initiative. With the support of hundreds of volunteers, the appeal aims to provide much needed support to over 2,500 families across Belfast this Christmas.

Through no fault of their own, many families will not be able to provide the Christmas celebrations they would like in 2020. It has been an extremely difficult year, as many workers and families have suffered loss of income or employment due to the pandemic, leading to a rapid change of circumstances.

Over the past few years, North Belfast Advice Partnership and The People’s Kitchen have supported local families and individuals with benefit and debt advice, food parcels, homeless support and hot meals. Following the onset of the pandemic, both organisations have seen a huge surge in demand for their services, as poverty levels across the city soar.

The Odyssey Trust is providing complimentary use of The SSE Arena for the next month, which will help the organisation scale up its operation for 2020. From next week until the end of December, The Arena will become a central hub for the packing and distribution of bespoke Christmas food hampers and Santa sacks for families across Belfast.

MICK-AND-DYLAN-JUICE1038

Left: Mickey Meehan (TAHMI) and Dylan McKee (Mental Health Officer, Juice1038)

- How You Can Help -

The SSE Arena, Belfast, in collaboration with the Belfast Giants, sports stars and partners across the city, is calling on the public to ‘become a Secret Santa’ to local families that are facing into one of the toughest festive seasons ever. Donations of food, toiletries, toys and gifts can be made over the coming weeks to a range of donation points across the city. An army of volunteers will then create bespoke hampers matched to specific families’ needs.

- What you can Donate -

Food Hampers - Tesco/Supermarket vouchers, non-perishable food items, toiletries, chocolates, sweets, biscuits and toys.
Santa Sacks - Sponsor a local child this Christmas by donating £50 via PayPal to Christmas@northbelfastadvice.org.

Alternatively, make up a Santa sack with some of the following items: new/boxed toys, family games, story books, colouring books and pencils, creative activity packs, toiletries, pyjamas, underwear, socks, hats, scarves and gloves, water bottles, flasks and mugs, cosy blankets, chocolate or selection boxes.

Online Donations

Cash donations can be made via PayPal at foodbank@northbelfastadvice.org to help buy items for food hampers and Christmas@northbelfastadvice.org to sponsor a child’s Santa sack.

Donation Drop Off Points

- Ardoyne Association, Arc Building, Ardoyne Avenue. Tel: 028 9071 5165
- Ashton Centre, 5 Churchhill St, Belfast, Tel: 028 9074 2255
- ACT Initiative, 178 Shankill Road, Belfast, Tel: 028 9043 4827
- Ballysillan Community Forum, Willowgrove Centre, 925 Crumlin Road, Belfast, Tel: 028 9039 1272
- Ben Madigan’s Bar and Restaurant, 169 Cavehill Road, Belfast, Tel: 028 9692 2009
- Daly’s Hyundai Garage, 249-255 Falls Road, Belfast, Tel: 028 9032 6037
- Jazzberry Café, 123 High Street, Bangor, Tel: 028 9127 4882
- Spar Glengormley, 290 Antrim Road, Glengormley, Newtownabbey, Tel: 028 9083 2035
- Spar Titanic, 1-3 ARC Retail Units, Titanic Quarter, Belfast. Tel: 028 9544 2250
- St Vincent De Paul Church, Ligoneil Road, Belfast, Tel: 028 9071 3401
- The HUBB Community Resource Centre, 30 St Aubyn Street, Belfast, Tel: 028 9077 7511
- TPF Gym, Unit 5, Carrrowreagh Business Park, Dundonald
- The Vine Centre, 193 Crumlin Road, Belfast, Tel: 028 9035 1020