Charity Santa book relieves festive woes

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The reality that some families cannot afford food in one of the world’s wealthier nations is one of the harsh facts of life which leaves many shocked at the unfair balance of wealth in Western cultures.

Fortunately for those people who are struggling for survival, there are charitable organisations known as Food Banks in operation, which arrange for emergency food rations to be given to the neediest of clients.

Unsurprisingly, these banks are always in need of funds and donations. One of these is the Irthlingborough Food Bank.

With this in mind, Irthlingborough town and district councillor, Marika Hillson, decided to pen a children’s Christmas story to help raise funds.

The book, called An Irthlingborough Christmas Tale, tells the story of a time when the festive season is abolished and Santa comes to the rescue.

But will Santa be able to save Christmas Day?

Marika said: “Children and adults alike should both enjoy the tale, which is in rhyming verse and sends out a positive message about Christmas at a time when it means the most.”

This is not Marika’s first literary venture as, when she was mayor of Irthlingborough, she penned The Mayor’s Cook Book, which raised £1,000 for the Sunflower Centre, to support victims of domestic violence. She said: “The Irthlingborough Food Bank was set up this year in response to the most vulnerable in our society struggling to make ends meet.

“It is run by a group of dedicated volunteers who I call the Irthlingborough Angels. Today it’s not just the unemployed who struggle to make ends meet, but also hard-pressed employed people who are on low pay and cannot cope with the escalating price rises of basic living needs, such as food, gas, electricity and fuel. Sadly the phrase ‘eating or heating’ is a reality for a lot of people nowadays and the volunteers at the food bank bear witness to this every day.”

The book will be on sale at the Christmas Fest on Thursday, December 12, being held in Irthlingborough’s High Street between 4pm and 8pm.

It is also on sale at some Irthlingborough venues, including the library, Cheries Pet Shop, Born and Bread Cafe, Artlenock Sweet Shop, Tony’s Newsagents, the Scout Hut, Through The Looking Glass hairdressers and the Methodist Church.

Marika will be doing a reading of the book at Irthlingborough Library on Saturday, December 7 at 11am.

The book costs £5.