Over 800 children living in deprivation receive Christmas gifts at Pillgwenlly Festive Experience - Business in the Community

Over 800 children living in deprivation receive Christmas gifts at Pillgwenlly Festive Experience

Business in the Community (BITC), The Prince’s Responsible Business Network, delivered a festive experience, in partnership with The Celtic Collection, for children in Pillgwenlly (Pill) in Newport. The event was also facilitated by Reggie Al-Haddi, Chair of the Newport Yemeni Community Association (NYCA), Pillgwenlly Councillor Debbie Jenkins, and Paul Macey, Pill Masterplan Coordinator at Newport City Council.

Around a quarter of people living in the most deprived areas in Pill are aged 16 or younger, and Pill is one of the 10 most deprived communities in Wales.[1] The event was held to make a real difference to the lives of the children living in this community, who might not otherwise have received a Christmas gift this year. The event, which took place at the NYCA, was delivered by senior managers and team members of The Celtic Collection and was attended by over 800 children, who had the opportunity to meet Santa and have photos taken with giant gingerbread men. The children were also provided with festive food, and all children brought home a gift and a selection box. The event was the first to be held at NYCA’s new building in the heart of Pillgwenlly and aims to bring the community together.

This event is one of the examples of businesses working to support local communities. This work is part of BITC’s national place programme, which involves the organisation working in nine places around the UK, including Newport. The Festive Experience came as a result of a Seeing is Believing visit to Newport earlier this year, led by Paul Lewis, Firmwide Managing Partner at Linklaters LLP. During the visit, business leaders were brought into communities in Newport, including Pill, to understand the challenges faced by the people in these communities, and co-create innovative and long-term solutions with the community to help tackle these challenges. Following the visit, Linklaters donated to the NYCA, which went towards renovations to the centre, including building a new roof.

Adele Harries-Nicholas, Strategic Partnerships Manager, Newport at Business in the Community, said:

“The Seeing is Believing visit to Newport earlier this year really hammered home the barriers which people in communities around the city face every day. Pill is one of the areas in Newport with the highest levels of deprivation, and that’s why it was so moving and heartwarming to see children who may have otherwise not received a gift this Christmas leave with not only a Christmas gift each but also huge smiles and memories that will stay with them for many years to come.”[2]

Celtic Collection Chief Executive, Ian Edwards, said:

“Business in the Community is a brilliant initiative, and it was a real pleasure to share some of our amazing festive experiences with the local community and support the excellent work done by so many volunteers. Our team really enjoyed this opportunity to get out into the community and help put smiles on children’s faces at this special time of the year.”

Reggie Al-Haddi, Chair of Newport Yemeni Community Association, said:

“Through the invaluable partnership with Business in the Community, NYCA has witnessed a transformative impact on the Pillgwenlly community, one of Wales’s most deprived areas. Bringing the Celtic Manor Festive Experience to our neighbourhood has been nothing short of magical – seeing the joy on the faces of over 800 children as they visit Santa and receive gifts is a testament to the power of collective efforts.

“Our sincere gratitude extends to Adele Harris-Nicholas from Business in the Community, James Hayward, Ellison Griffiths, and Peter Fuchs from The Celtic Collection for their unwavering commitment to our community. Together, we have demonstrated the profound impact that collaboration can have on people’s lives. Together, we are stronger, and it is through these collective efforts that we bring joy, warmth, and hope to those who need it most.”


Notes to editor

  1. Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) 2019: Results report (gov.wales)
  2. Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) 2019: Results report (gov.wales)
  3. Photos of the event are available upon request.

For further information, please contact Aoife Butler Nolan, Head of Media and Public Affairs, on 020 7566 8681.