THE Christmas wishes of 140 of the most vulnerable and needy young people have been granted by Procast, who answered their letters to Santa to make sure each and every one of them has a gift to open on December 25.
The company handed over the presents to the management team at Action for Children North Lanarkshire Young Carers at the organisation’s headquarters in Motherwell.
The service raises awareness, identifies and provides direct support to kids who are forced to help to look after someone in their family for a wide variety of reasons.
Procast made the extraordinary gesture – which was covered by the East Kilbride News/ Daily Record – after hearing of the plight on the young carers in their local area, some of whom are as young as eight.
The company asked Action for Children North Lanarkshire Young Carers to ask the youngsters to each write down their Christmas wish and pledged that they would make it come true.
The aim is to ensure that these young people who carry such heavy family responsibilities and who are living in challenging day-to-day circumstances, frequently in low-income settings affected by drugs and alcohol misuse, do not go without a deserved present on the big day.
Lisamarie Innes, who is Procast’s dedicated Developing the Young Workforce Officer, got all the gifts together and wrapped them, while Carol Cameron, Group Development Director, delivered them along with Transport Manager Gerry Peat.
The gifts were handed over to carers Project Team Leader Carla Maguire, her colleague Danny Doyle and Zoe Cochrane, North Lanarkshire Council’s Programme Liaison Officer. The presents could not be given directly to the carers because of COVID-19 restrictions but Carla will ensure they are delivered safely.
North Lanarkshire Council is a “Key Customer” of Procast, and the company first identified the Action for Children service as a cause in need of support two years ago.
Company Managing Director Derek Innes said: “We gave the young carers the opportunity to create their wish list, which we fulfilled – and knowing that so many of these fantastic youngsters will have happy faces at Christmas makes it all so worthwhile.
“We believe that every child should have the opportunity to learn, develop and enjoy a positive childhood to help them develop healthily into adulthood and fulfil their potential.
“Young carers may not have this opportunity if they have to look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.
“We are both honoured and humbled to be given this opportunity to make a small difference.
“The big thing for us is to give back to kids and give back to the communities we are in.”
Carla said: “We really appreciate all of the lovely Christmas gifts which Procast have donated to Action for Children North Lanarkshire Young Carers Project. We were overwhelmed by the amount of gifts! All have been specially selected for each young person and have been beautifully wrapped.
“This time of year can be difficult for some of our families and this lovely gesture will be greatly appreciated by our young people. This year has been particularly stressful and challenging for some, and the gifts will bring some much need joy to the young people.
“Our staff will now deliver these gifts to the Young Carers, on behalf of Procast, and we can’t wait to see the smiles on their faces! Thank you very much, Procast, you have made our Young Carers Christmas!”