Secret Santa Success!
By Callum McCrosson, National Autism Advisor
Thank you to everybody who took part in the 2020 ‘Secret Santa’ gift exchange between the staff of our organisation and the people we support.
A gift exchange on a national scale, open to over 6000 people, has plenty of opportunities to go awry. Yet with only a few minor hiccups along the way we saw dozens of gifts being exchanged. As a nice coincidence, we had a perfect 50/50 split of staff and people we support taking part.
After the year that 2020 was, coming together to celebrate and feel at least somewhat together again was a great feeling. A few years ago, in a previous role, I organised a gift exchange between a dozen people I supported. I did so without thinking much about it, it would be a nice thing to do, so why not do it. It was not until one of those people taking part told me how excited they were to take part that I realised the importance. They told me that despite being in their mid-20’s it was their first-ever ‘Secret Santa’. Having never had a job, or a large group of friends, they were never given the opportunity. It made them feel part of a community and perhaps for a brief period they did not feel outside of society. To use their words “It’s nice to do something normal.”
My fellow Christmas elf, Yvonne Leggate, and I will be back later in 2021.
Happy New Year everybody!