Kind hearted members of the Thornton Heath community have dug deep to support an appeal to bring cheer to refugee families this Christmas.

This is the fourth year that local residents have organised a festive collection for residents of Brigstock and Stonebridge House.

The target to raise £1,000 along with pledges and gifts was reached in just three weeks.

Last year saw a huge Christmas Party at the Salvation Army with food and presents handed out thanks to the generosity of local people and businesses who gave and volunteered their time on the day

The aim of this year’s appeal is slightly different because of Covid and instead of a party, pizza and cakes will be delivered to residents on December 23 and 24 along with toiletries and gift packs for 200 men, women and children. Donors were also asked to contribute towards £5 vouchers from Tesco, Poundland and Costa.


Mitra Djalili organised the collection of toiletries and toys with locals generously donating dozens of gifts. Chetna Kapacee organised online donations and will buy and pack all the gifts and deliver.

Councillors Janet Campbell, Karen Jewitt, Alison Butler and Stuart King also made personal donations.

All those who have contributed have been asked to provide a short message which will be included on a poster to show the refugees how much local people care about them.

Fireaway Pizza kindly agreed a large discount and cakes and treats have also been donated for delivery to the refugees on December 23rd and 24th  by Nicola Jaworska of Brown Sugar Cakes

Freeart, set up in September 2017 by Vân Dang with the aim of helping the refugee children at Brigstock House has coordinated the collection.

Vân said: “Thank you for joining us and making it happen! Every year we make it bigger and better but 2020 has been a very challenging year for all of us. We all have our own problems but it doesn’t mean we can’t come together and help others.”