MeANS Christmas: How we make it happen

ANS culture, Christmas

December can mean only on thing at ANS, it’s time for MeANS Christmas! Every year we put up our Christmas tree and dig deep to make lots of young people’s Christmas wishes come true.

As a founding patron 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 young people who receive a gift attend the amazing Manchester Youth Zone (MYZ) 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.

Let’s take a look at the MeANS Christmas journey this year…


21 days to go - It begins!

Just 2 days after we kicked off the campaign and the office was already starting to fill up with all sorts of presents. We have to say Amazon Prime is the best thing that ever happened to MeANS Christmas 😉


MeANS Christmas - early haul


15 days to go – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas..

As the big day gets closer, the specially selected presents make their way over to the tree as the Christmas spirit takes over ANS HQ. From unicorn lights, to Manchester City kit bags, coats, trainers, books, brain teasers and everything in between, this year is set to be our biggest yet!


Christmas tree presents


14 days to go – Now we are talking!

A week in and the ANS generosity really shows! MeANS Christmas has been going for a long time and every year our team seems to smash it out of the park. The stories of some of the young people who attend MYZ really touched our hearts this year and we wanted to give them a Christmas they deserve.


christmas tree wrapped presents


5 days to go – Cue the Christmas elves..

The ANS elves were out in full force to get operation MeANS Christmas complete. It’s not just about buying gifts, our team also gives up their time to make sure each young person gets what they’re dreaming of this Christmas.


means xmas elves


1 day to go – Our favourite part

Our ever-passionate CSR Manager, Catherine, heads over to the Manchester Youth Zone in Harpurhey with our CSR team to deliver the presents just in time for Christmas. She drives a funny looking sleigh but there was plenty of Christmas cheer as the young people from MYZ were thrilled to receive gifts this year.


Manchester youth zone Catherine-02Manchester youth zone-01


"This year we had the pleasure of handing a few of these gifts out to the young people personally, which gave me the opportunity to chat to each person about their interests and aspirations. It’s so incredibly lovely having a young person excitedly tell you how much they want to be a stand-up comedian, secretly knowing they’re holding a book about stand-up comedy in the bag of gifts I’ve just handed to them.

This is why we do the MeANS Christmas Campaign each year. That bag of tailored gifts can brighten up a child’s Christmas Day, inspire future dreams, and make them feel extra special - Something every child deserves to feel at this festive time of year."

-Catherine Astles, Senior Assistant Management Accountant and CSR Manager at ANS

MeANS Christmas might make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside but it’s the young people of MYZ that we want to make happy. Seeing reactions just like this one let us know it’s all worth it.

“Christmas is a really exciting time for most people, however sometimes pressures – whether those be financial or social – can take away some of that Christmas spirit. For the second year, Founder Patrons ANS are helping to reignite that spirt at MYZ by gifting young people with a personalised present based on their age and interests. ANS consistently go the extra mile to ensure the partnership with MYZ benefits young people, from this year’s trip to the zoo, to employee fundraising and supporting our annual #ThisYouthCanAwards.”

-Hannah Wright, Head of Development at the Manchester Youth Zone

Find out more about how MYZ supports young people across Manchester here.

Posted by Kate Auchterlonie