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Support Worker spreads cheer for families this Christmas

Category: community, Career opportunity, donations, Support Worker, Disabilities, LiveWest, Education and Training, Christmas, Pirate FM's Mission, Supporting families, Food banks, Barriers to employment, Resources, Building Futures project

Corporate Social Responsibility

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Suzanne Cooper - Support Worker

A support worker has stepped in to bring some festive cheer to a family on the lead up to Christmas. 

Suzanne Cooper has been supporting a family of five from Cornwall get back on their feet. 

Following the sudden death of the dad two years ago, it left the mum out of work and caring for four young children on her own. She was also left with a lot of financial difficulties.

Despite going through a difficult time, Suzanne has helped the family and wanted them to enjoy Christmas without the money worries. 

She applied for the family with children, aged just under two, three, nine and an eleven-year-old, to receive gifts from the radio station, Pirate FM, through its Mission Christmas toy appeal.

Our Support Worker, Suzanne Cooper, said: “I wanted to make sure that they had that kind of extra special Christmas. She's in that situation where she's trying to move past her barriers, but the barriers keep on happening. I thought, actually, let's try and alleviate a bit of that pressure.

“I think that all the different services at Christmas time are always looking at ways that we can support our customers and that kind of personal touch.”

“There's a lot of deprivation, especially in Cornwall. And I was overwhelmed by the number of gifts that Pirate FM donated with just one family, it is actually massive.”

They also received a hamper from staff member, David Gold, who has been diagnosed with bowel cancer and wanted to fundraise to support vulnerable families with gifts this Christmas.

On the application, people could specify any kind of disabilities or anything relevant for the presents such as interests or hobbies as the appeal team pick the gifts.

Suzanne visited the distribution centre, in Truro, to collect the bundle as part of its Christmas Mission. She then delivered it to the family who really appreciated the kindness from everyone.

Suzanne added: “Mum was very emotional about the generosity of the people that have donated and to all of the support that she has received from Livewest and wanted to send over her thanks.

“She has got a little one that is partially sighted. I did write that on the application, so they picked a real special gift for the two-year-old, which was so lovely, it was a bright pink flamingo that makes loads of noise.

“There are lot of families relying on food banks meaning they are having to prioritize between food and presents as well as the other Christmas expenses. 

“But there is definitely a lot of community spirit. I went to the food bank two weeks ago, and there was a two hour wait. There's the need for additional support, although there's jobs out there, some families need additional support to overcome the barriers to employment. 

“So hopefully, it's about opening those opportunities and giving people confidence, skills and resources to go for those.”

The family have been supported through our Building Futures project which aims to give people life skills and assist in different aspects to help them get into employment or education. 
 

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