A collective of charities are clubbing together once more this Christmas to bring festive joy to those who need it most.

Hitchin Partnership, Rotary Club of Hitchin Tilehouse, Hitchin Youth Trust, Zeo Church, Letchworth and Hitchin Foodbank, Hitchin Volunteer Army, Salvation Army Stotfold, Hitchin Roundtable and Feed Up Warm Up are among the organisations joining forces for the Hitchin Christmas Hamper Appeal; to ensure those feeling the pinch this year have a Christmas to remember.

After seeing a change in operation last year due to lockdown measures, the initiative raised funds to provide a supermarket voucher of the equivalent value of a festive shop and cupboard essentials to 158 families, including over 300 children.

With the voucher allowing dietary needs to be catered to and giving recipients the dignity of choice, the initiative was met with an overwhelming positivity.

For this year's campaign, vouchers will be offered in exchange for 'hampers', and the delivering of gift bags will return to families with children, to bring the warmth of a human touch at what can be a difficult time of the year for many.

The charities are actively fundraising to ensure those in need - whether it be financial, health or family-based - are taken care of this Christmas, in light of the increasing fuel and energy costs, the removal of the £20 Universal Credit uplift and the many job losses that have occurred due to the pandemic.

Donations are encouraged to support the initiative, big or small. Just £1 will buy a selection box of a child, a fiver will supply a family with a Christmas pudding and mince pies, and £10 would buy a gift for a child.

At the time of publication, more than £2,000 has already been pledged for the 2021 festive drive. The charities aim to match the success of last year, and support 160 families and individuals and make their Christmas that little bit easier.

Last year, over £8,000 was raised - a figure the band of charities hopes to smash.

To donate to this year's Hitchin Christmas Hamper Appeal, visit the only fundraising portal at justgiving.com/campaign/CCHT.