Earlier this year Dagenham United Charity organised Easter eggs to be delivered to the 150 children currently living in Butler Court, a homeless hostel in Dagenham. Normally during the festive season the charity organises hampers for struggling residents but this Christmas Councillor Margaret Mullane, one of the Trustees for Dagenham United Charity, is taking it a step further.
Over the course of the last month Margaret has contacted local trade unions including the GMB and Unite the Union, as well as Time 107.5 FM, local schools, and Creative B&D among others, looking for support to give the residents of Butler Court, in particular the 150 children, a Christmas to remember.
All of the organisations have been extremely generous; Time 107.5 FM have donated Christmas presents for all of the children, which the office of Jon Cruddas MP have kindly offered to wrap. The trade unions donated so generously that the Chairman of Dagenham United Charity, Councillor Peter Chand, along with Margaret were able to order a full buffet for all the residents supplied by Relish Cafe in Barking.
Cllr Margaret Mullane said: "I am absolutely overwhelmed at the generosity from everyone I have approached whilst organising this event. As the MPs Office Manager I regularly deal with casework at Butler Court, and it is truly heart breaking to see entire families living in one room. I hope this event will really give everyone staying there a boost during the festive season."
Cllr Peter Chand added: "Dagenham United Charity was set up in the mid 80's not only to support, but also to bring a sense of normality, and stability to families with children living in poverty. Sadly our work becomes more important every year."
Thursday 21st December promises to be a huge event at Butler Court, with a full buffet for everyone, face painting, arts and crafts, a dance-a-thon put on by Fay Hough from the office of Jon Cruddas MP, and Father Christmas will also be paying a visit all the way from the North Pole. At the beginning of December a kind resident also donated three boxes of decorations to make the day extra festive!
Margaret concluded: "I'm really looking forward to watching the event come together next week, and depending on its success I hope that we can turn this into an annual party for all the residents at Butler Court."