Young people give back at Christmas

Young people working with City of York Council’s Youth Justice Service are supporting a charity project which allows them to give back to the community.

Selby-based charity Spirit of Christmas is organising its fifth Christmas party in York for children whose families are suffering financial hardship.

Acting as ambassadors for the charity and working alongside their supervisors, the team of young people are wrapping gifts for the event and which have been selected to match the children’s ‘wish lists’.

The team is also decorating the venue including transforming one of the rooms into Santa’s grotto, and then helping host and run the party for 120 guests.

Besides introducing Father Christmas to the guests, each will have a snack box, enjoy music and games, dancing elves and access to a free book stall where children can take as many books as they like books to encourage reading.

Amanda Hatton, corporate director of children, education and communities at City of York Council, said: “Reparation is so important to our youth justice work and gives young people who have offended in the past an opportunity to make amends in a constructive and lasting way.

“This is a very worthwhile project, and I hope the rewards of helping disadvantaged children and their families will make Christmas all the more special.”

Ronnie Munro, chair of Spirit of Christmas, said: “We try to recruit volunteers from all backgrounds, give them a sense of belonging to our group and the wider community, and help them feel that they are respected and appreciated.

“The efforts of the young people will, I’m sure, help them to feel good about doing something for others.”

Anyone interested in supporting the project can contact Spirit of Christmas at