Fill a shoebox to spread festive cheer this Christmas

Posted by: Belinda Hargreaves

Mon 20th November 2023

A community group in a Derbyshire village is running a kind-hearted initiative to help spread Yuletide cheer this festive season.
The Stonebroom HAF (Holiday Activity and Food Programme) Group is carrying out its second Shoebox Appeal which is set to see lots of socially isolated elderly residents in the area being treated with donated items.
One of the kind-hearted volunteers behind the Stonebroom Shoebox Appeal is Gail Morton. She told the Spirit of Alfreton: “Last year was our first ever shoebox appeal. We collected 99 in total and then we asked “It was one of the most emotional and yet heart warming days of the year for me and the team but it was so worth it.
“This year will be a little harder as we have had to said goodbye to some of our wonderful characters in our community over the past 12 months, but are hoping to reach more people as well, so please, if you can help us put smiles on our elderly this Christmas please support us.”
Gail continued: “This, the year cut off for donations is December 15 and we will deliver them on December 21.
“We will again ask for nominations to the Stonebroom HAF group.”
Donated shoeboxes – which should be labelled for female or male – can be filled with all sorts of items. Here is the group’s list of suggested items:

Fluffy socks/Christmas socks
Perfume/After Shave
Body lotion/face cream
Toiletry sets
Christmas food eg mini Christmas cake, biscuits, chocolates/sweets
Mini luxury jam or whisky marmalade
Savoury items eg nuts or dried fruit
Sachets of luxury hot chocolate
Christmas crackers/decorations
Puzzle books
Crayons/adult colouring book
Scented drawer liners/scented candle/reed diffusers
Nail files/clippers/manicure sets
Small puzzles/jigsaws/craft kits
Mini hot water bottle
Something to brighten a room – picture/trinket/silk plant
Picture frame

However, please do not include: Tins of food, or food that needs cooking eg Christmas puddings; Food that will be out of date by Christmas; Large bars of soap; Any open or used toiletries; Second hand clothes; Hand sanitiser.

Once filled, and including a signed Christmas card, shoeboxes are to be wrapped (lids separately) in festive paper or painted with festive cheer, and then dropped off at either 203 Birkinstyle Lane in Stonebroom, or 8 Addison Road in Stonebroom.
For further information about this community initiative, email or call 07429 585387.

Pictured are just some of the recipients of last year’s Stonebroom Shoebox Appeal having their donated festive treats delivered to them by volunteers from the Stonebroom HAF group.

To keep up to date with the group’s activities, go to here

Are you running a similar festive community initiative? Email our Editor Belinda at or upload your story and accompanying photo(s) direct to the website here