It goes without saying that Christmas is a very special time for children. But for many of the families we work with, the festive season brings additional stress.

Parents already facing fuel poverty and school holiday hunger really struggle to provide their children with the kind of Christmas many of us are lucky enough to take for granted such as gifts under the tree, a festive family meal or perhaps a magical trip to the panto. 

Emergency help

Our dedicated staff work closely throughout the year with mums and dads who, for a variety of reasons, find themselves in challenging circumstances. Families might sometimes require emergency help during the December break but often it's in the dark days of January and February, when the cost of Christmas really bites, that people find it particularly hard to make ends meet.

Hope for Christmas is designed to give families exactly that, hope. 

- So says our senior fundraiser, Carol Taylor. She explains: "Hope is our Children North East mascot, the little girl in our logo, and our appeal is named after her.

"Rather than asking for toys and gifts (other charitable organisations already provide these in abundance), this year we're asking for vouchers or monetary donations so that families might afford a rare trip to the cinema, a guilt-free supermarket shop - or even the more mundane ability to simply settle the gas bill."

If you work in an office or belong to a community organisation, could you consider becoming one of Hope's Heroes in aid of Children North East?

We have bags of inspiration to help you fundraise in your workplace or club - from Christmas jumper days and festive bake-offs to carol-okes and pinning the nose on Rudolph. But often the most imaginative and successful ideas are those that supporters come up with themselves.

We'd really love to see pictures of your festivities and will happily help you share them on social media - you can tag us in with #hope4christmas

How to sign up

For more information about this year's appeal - and to get your Hope's Hero badge and fundraising information leaflet, please email [email protected] or click here to donate to our appeal .

And keep an eye on our website and social channels (we're on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram) for more updates on our Hope for Christmas Appeal 2019 and how you can get involved.