MERSEY Cares, the official charity of Mersey Cares NHS Foundation Trust, is urging everyone to become ‘Secret Santas’ this Christmas by providing gifts or small donations to help children and young people accessing their services.

Their Secret Santa Christmas Appeal has been launched this week and aims to provide a gift to children across Mersey Care’s services in Cheshire and Merseyside, including children in care and those visiting Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

Those interested in helping the campaign can either purchase a gift from the Amazon Wish List, which includes colouring books, chocolate, Lego, crayons, coloured pencils and gift cards, or donate to the charity directly.

Michael Crilly, Mersey Care’s Director of Social Health and Community Inclusion said: “We know many families will have additional struggles this Christmas, with the fuel crisis and rising costs of food, but all the children in our services will be smiling from ear to ear if Santa delivers presents and treats for them.

“We come across children, young people, and their families in very challenging circumstances and, particularly at this time of year, it would be heartwarming to be able to deliver a sprinkle of the magic this Christmas and help them to make some good memories.

“We need your help. Any small contribution people can make will be hugely appreciated. Each small gift at Christmas can generate a big smile and make such a difference to the children’s mood, confidence and wellbeing.”

Mersey Care’s services who may benefit from this appeal include Knowsley’s CAMHS team, who offer specialist work with children and young people presenting challenging mental health problems; many residing within disadvantaged communities.

Other children include those in the Looked After Children Team, who provide health and wellbeing support to children who have been in the care of their local authority, up until the age of 19. Specialist nurses carry out assessments for children who attend local independent schools, children who range from 16-18 who are not in education or training and children in their transition from childhood to adulthood.