Monday, 15 April 2024
Monday, 15 April 2024

Kind-hearted schoolgirl hoping to raise enough money to feed families in need this Christmas

A kind-hearted schoolgirl is spreading joy to families who are feeling the pinch this Christmas by walking a mile every day for 25 days, with the aim of raising enough money to treat them to a festive feast.

This will be the third year that eleven-year-old Marnie Wadlow has helped those in need. Last year, Marnie delivered turkey and all the trimmings – including Prosecco and pudding – to 25 families in the city.

Her festive campaign – called Marnie Delivers Christmas – started in December 2020 when the caring youngster realised that, due to the pandemic, some families may not be able to afford Christmas.

She did extra chores around the house and used her pocket money to purchase food, which she then delivered with her mum Chrissa Wadlow.

Chrissa, founder and managing director of award-winning Sunshine Support, a not-for-profit organisation that helps support families with children who have special educational needs, is understandably proud of her daughter.

She said:

“Marnie has a big heart and simply loves Christmas. It takes a lot of time and planning and it is quite emotional to hear stories of how families in Derby are struggling during these difficult times.

“It’s quite something when your daughter is making people weep on their own doorstep.”

Marnie, who won an award for her community fundraising efforts, said:

“My aim is to provide dinner for 25 families again this year – but it would be even better if we could provide for more.

“I really enjoy helping people and it’s also fun going shopping and delivering the food with my mum.

“She has always told me to be kind and think of others from a very young age, and that’s what I like to do.”

Chrissa and Marnie found that families were often too proud to ask for help, and so this year they are handing out food from Sunshine Support’s Spondon headquarters.

To receive the festive goodies, those nominated must live with special educational needs. This may be them personally or someone who lives with them.

Chrissa, who will be part of the panel, added:

“The Wadlow family is wonderfully neurodivergent. This means that we are each different with several of us living with presentations such as Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Developmental Language Disorder and Sensory Processing Difficulties.

“From my work with families who are living with special educational needs, I know how challenging life can be. It’s even harder, though, at Christmas, especially if you have a low income.”

Nominations close on December 10 and a panel of adults will choose people at random, who will then be given details on how to collect their lunch.

To make a nomination, please visit:


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