MeANS Christmas 2018: this time it’s personal


ANS culture, CSR

MeANS Christmas is back and this year it means more than ever!

As a founding partner of the Manchester Youth Zone, launching our annual MeANS Christmas campaign is one of our biggest fundraising highlights of the year. Each year we eagerly pop on our elf hats and put our wrapping skills to the test as we prepare to give over 200 gifts to children who may otherwise not have received a present this Christmas.

All of the children who receive a gift attend the amazing Manchester Youth Zone which provides a unique, safe place for young people aged 6 -19, up to 25 with additional needs, from across Manchester. The organisation does incredible work to help and support young people in North Manchester by increasing their confidence and building positive relationships to improve their lives as well as supporting their future aspirations.

We run this special campaign every year and it is always a huge success but this year, we decided to make our MeANS Christmas campaign a little more personal. The staff at MYZ chose 25 children who have had a particularly difficult year and deserve an extra special Christmas.

Armed with a list of children and a brief profile including their age and interests, we set our team a challenge to shop till they drop to make sure Santa’s sack was bursting with gifts tailored to each child. Here are just a few of the children we’re hoping to bring a little extra Christmas magic to:

Tom:

Tom has faced many obstacles over the years but his attitude to life is so inspiring. Tom constantly pushes himself to overcome challenges and fears - recently, he attended an Outward Bound residential where he overcame fears, pushed himself to his limits, and became a real leader for people at MYZ.

Logan:

Logan has additional needs and struggles in new environments and with new people. When Logan first attended the Manchester Youth Zone he would go into Crisis on a regular basis, would be rude to staff, not follow instructions and lash out at other children not wanting them to join in with his games, regularly having to leave the Centre before the end of the Session either through his own choice or Staff decision. A few months on, Logan has been staying the whole session - he has built relationships with some members of staff and has even been playing the games with other children without staff involvement.

Mia:

Mia and her mum have been struggling for a long time in regard to getting Mia assessed for additional needs and to receive the right support in order for them to be happier. Mia at such a young age struggles with her self-esteem and anxiety about making friends and has a hard time being understood. She has since been diagnosed with ADHD and with the help of the Manchester Youth Zone is receiving mentoring every week to build her confidence and help her to make friends.

These stories truly caught the attention of our employees at ANS and made buying the gifts even more personal. Knowing who your present is going to and the difference it can make not just to their Christmas Day but also the whole festive period is really rewarding.

All that’s left now is to deliver the gifts to the Youth Zone later on this week. We may not have a sleigh but hopefully we’ll still bring some Christmas magic!

As a proud founding partner of MYZ, we get involved with the charity throughout the year. In June, we helped MYZ celebrate a new chapter in their history as they rebranded from The Factory Youth Zone to The Manchester Youth Zone, you can find out what went down here.

Posted by Kate Auchterlonie