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Cholmondeley is one of the worthy charities supported by the Christchurch Tramway. This week, until Friday, the decorated Christmas Tram is in Cathedral Square filling up with presents for the wide-eyed Cholmondeley three to 12-year olds.

Every year hundreds of children stay at Cholmondeley, typically for short stays when families are experiencing difficulties.

The Christmas Tram is an ideal way for the public to brighten up Christmas for this special group of children.

“We really want to  fill this tram to the brim with presents to ensure that Christmas, and all year, the children of Cholmondeley are well-catered for,” says  Christchurch Tramway Operations Manager John Smith.

Cholmondeley’s Marketing Manager Sarah Barrer says the organisation takes a child-centred but holistic approach to care, with support offered to parents and siblings but focused on the child in need.

“Gifts donated in the Cholmondeley Christmas Tram drive will be given out to those staying in the facility at Christmas, but will also help provide entertainment, fun and some basics for other children staying throughout the year.

“Things like skateboards, basketballs, tennis balls – any sports equipment, togs, shower caps, canvases and art supplies, even sleepover kits including toothbrushes, toothpaste and flannels – these are all things that will be of benefit to our young visitors any time of year,” she says.

The Welcome Aboard website (www.welcomeaboard.co.nz) has gift ideas or ask any central city retailer, including the Tram Station shop in Cathedral Junction, for suggestions.

The Cholmondeley Christmas Tram, looking like a huge Christmas present, will be out in Cathedral Square from 10am to 4 pm, today and until Friday 10 December.