The Lighthouse charity in Woking has launched its Christmas Kindness initiative to help those in need.

“Christmas is such a special time of year,”  said The Lighthouse founder Erik Jespersen. 

“It can be marked by warm, wonderful companionship, delicious food, gifts, fun and laughter, but we know that won’t be the case for everyone. 

“This year, according to the BBC, almost one in four people in the South East will struggle to afford Christmas. 

“That’s nearly one quarter of the people in our neighbourhoods. So, to help those in direst need, The Lighthouse is raising money to alleviate the financial burden for local people this season.

“Throughout November and December, The Lighthouse has been working hard to lift the worry. Collaborating with The Entertainer toy store, The Lighthouse has distributed over 1,100 gift cards to parents who are struggling, enabling them to purchase gifts for their children.”

Woking has the highest child poverty rate in the county, according to Active Surrey, with more than one in five children (21.5 per cent) living in poverty, 

Christmas Kindness events in Woking, Guildford and Aldershot are helping families who have been referred by inviting them to pick up winter-warmer essentials, such as coats, hats, scarves, gloves and jumpers, plus good-quality secondhand toys. In addition, they have been able to enjoy a free hot drink.

The Christmas Kindness initiative is also supporting the elderly, refugees and many more by providing food hampers, toiletries, warm clothes and a Christmas Day meal.

Last year, more than £27,000 was raised, helping over 1,000 local people. This year, with the impact of the rise in the cost of living, many more people are struggling, so the goal is to raise £40,000 to help many more people.

Erik added: “All of this is only made possible through the generosity of local people, companies, schools, and other organisations. For example, St John the Baptist School is gathering donated items from students, Epworth Choir and the Horsell Community Choir are fundraising at concerts, and companies such as Moore Barlow solicitors are volunteering at a Christmas Kindness event supporting Ukrainian refugees.

“We couldn’t respond to the needs of the community without the generosity of those who are able to give. We are so grateful for every donation received.”

To donate and get involved in Christmas Kindness, visit