'Christmas miracle': Harold Wood volunteers save Rainbow Trust's charity sleigh collections with last minute appeal
PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:04 24 December 2019
After a children's charity couldn't find anyone to organise its annual Christmas collections kind-hearted volunteers from Harold Wood came together to save the day.
In September the Recorder published the Rainbow Trust (RT) charity shop's appeal to find volunteers to help with the Christmas sleigh collections in Harold Wood.
Last year the Rate Payers Association helped the charity shop in Station Road, but this year the RT had all but given up hope on finding an organisation to help with the collections.
Krystyna Koseda, from the Harold Wood Neighbours Facebook group, saw that the RT was struggling to find volunteers and decided to take action.
She said: "I put out a plea on Facebook and local residents soon came forward to help it become a reality.
"Once we got permission from the charity on December 6, it was all guns blazing.
"We were just really lucky with the people who volunteered to take part.
"We didn't really know each other and on December 19 when we came together for the collection it was the first time we met."
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"Somehow we managed to do it. It's a Christmas miracle."
The team of volunteers completed the collections raising a total of £603 for the charity.
Paul Veares and Daniel Claridge built the float, Thomas Clarke volunteered as Father Christmas and Jane Eve, Linda Colls, councillor Tele Lawal, Zoe Outridge, Laura Barrett and Barbara from the RT helped with the collections.
Krystyna added: "This is a great story of community spirit.
"We now have a team to continue this great cause for years to come."
The RT supports families who have a child with a terminal or life threatening illness.
Pauline Obee MBE, RT patron and volunteer, added: "People came out on the streets with their children giving the sleigh a huge and generous welcome and the chairman of the Harold Wood Cricket Club was a magnificent Father Christmas.
"I met everyone who took part but I knew no one, as they were all new volunteers to the Rainbow Trust charity.
"Can I take this opportunity to say a public thank you to each and everyone one of them."