London bobbies swap helmets for Santa hats during annual Christmas present drive for needy kids

Thousands of disadvantaged children woke up to a Christmas present this year thanks to the generosity of Londoners and the Met Police.

Bobbies swapped their police helmets for Santa hats and delivered the presents collected from the 2014 Christmas Tree Campaign to those in foster care or residential homes.

Commander Mak Chishty the Met’s lead for community engagement visited a children’s ward at St Thomas’ Hospital on Christmas Eve to deliver presents to children who will be in hospital over the Christmas period.

He said: “I would like to thank the public for their enormous generosity which has made thousands of children very happy this Christmas.”

“The campaign has really captured the public’s imagination this year and has been enthusiastically supported by police officers, staff and cadets”

“The response was so good that some of our Neighbourhood Policing teams were able to deliver presents to elderly residents in care homes as well as to children in need.”

The campaign was launched in November by Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe who switched on the Christmas tree lights outside New Scotland Yard.

He said: “This is a simple idea in the spirit of Christmas. A child in need can be helped by a simple gift from someone they have never met.

“That person gains no recognition other than knowing they have shown some care for a child that needs a little more love than most.”

This year’s campaign was expanded with Christmas trees installed outside police stations and in other public places to ensure that more children in need than ever had a present delivered to them in time for Christmas Day.

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