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Christmas Concerns As 1,300 Need Help

Ahead of this weekend's Charity Auction, the Jersey Christmas Appeal says there has been an 18% increase in islanders asking for help this festive season.

The charity organises the distribution of vouchers at Christmas for islanders who need extra financial help.

Chairman Bill Harris says it's concerning that requests from people struggling are up by almost a fifth.

"There are many people in the island, evidently, who do need a bit of a helping hand at a time when everybody's budgets are stretched.

Obviously, if you're living on a very stretched budget then every little bit of help that you get at Christmas is very, very welcome.

It certainly makes a difference for a lot of families to be able to get vouchers for their children and have a bit of extra money to spend on food."

The vouchers handed out by Jersey Christmas Appeal cover heating and grocery costs.  There are also vouchers for children under the age of 14.

The appeal relies heavily on public and third-sector agency donations to be able to help all the people who need assistance.

One of the main fundraising events is the Christmas Appeal Charity Auction, which sees lots put on the market for islanders to bid on.

Star lots include lunch with Chief Minister Deputy Kristina Moore, a helicopter ride around Jersey and various signed Formula One memorabilia.

Currently, two weeks at Cateau D'Aubeterre is sitting at £1,200, a Bartibike Electric Bike is going for £1,500 and a Barbados a week's accommodation has a £2,500 bid to its name.

The total raised so far, ahead of the Channel 103 live auction on 10 December, is more than £40,000.

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