Emma Bilton and other families

Article by Hannah Kane: A mum from Billericay is delighting local families by putting together 'reverse advent calendars' for those less fortunate this Christmas.

Emma Bilton, 40, rallied other mums together and encouraged them to fill a box of festive treats for people in need over the holidays.

Helped by four-year-old son James, and husband Stephen, 38, she then takes the boxes to the Salvation Army. She said:

“Last year a group of mums and I got together and started doing the reverse advent calendar. Before our children get their advent calendars, they have to put an item of food or toiletries into a big box. We make it look a bit special with dates on them like with advent calendars. Then before Christmas we take them to the Salvation Army and they give it to local food banks and families.”

This year, Emma was delighted with a bigger turnout, with 24 families taking part. She said:

“The Salvation Army have said they have families in mind including some young people in Basildon. Christmas food and regular food like mince pies, Christmas pudding, Pringles, chocolate. It’s just to make Christmas a bit more special for people who can’t afford it.”

She is also hoping it will continue for many Christmases to come.

Emma says she wanted to teach her son James that Christmas is about giving

“Hopefully it will become a regular thing to help people less fortunate at Christmas time. It’s a nice thing to do with the kids for other kids. It’s good to share and Christmas is not all about getting presents but giving them too.”

Article by Hannah Kane, EssexLive

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