Give a little Happiness this Christmas

In times of increasing austerity, Gentoo realise the importance of supporting people who are socially isolated, financially vulnerable or at risk of homelessness. To support their work, every Christmas they work with a number of local charities to help make Christmas special.

Last year a record amount of food bank donations and Christmas gifts were donated to local charities. People didn’t just donate items, they gave up their time too. From dropping off items to local food banks, befriending those who are socially isolated and visiting customers on Christmas Day– they all made a huge difference to thousands of individuals across Sunderland.

Throughout the year Gentoo also raise money for Grace House. Grace House is one of their corporate charities and staff and customers get involved in fundraising to help the charity to support children with complex disabilities, health needs and life-limiting conditions. The purpose-built centre has its own soft play area, multi-sensory room and specialist music therapy room, as well as extensive grounds where children can grow their own fruit and vegetables.

Their short break care service (respite) provides a home from home for children and young people. As a charity, Grace House needs to raise around £500,000 every year. They rely on the ongoing generosity of the general public, local businesses and grant-giving Trusts.

Michelle Meldrum, Executive Director (Operations) said: “We are so proud of our staff, customers and partners who have all played a part in helping us to build stronger and more vibrant communities. At Christmas it is so important to support those less fortunate than ourselves. A big thank you to everyone who has donated in the past and to those who continue to donate their time and money to make a difference to people’s lives.”

Often a donated present is the only gift someone receives. If you would like to donate a gift you can drop items off at any Gentoo office.

  • Emperor House, Doxford Park, SR3 3XR
  • 27 Fawcett Street, Sunderland, SR1 1RE
  • 2-3 Arndale House, Washington, NE37 2SW
  • Havelock Civic Buildings, Sunderland, SR4 8A
  • Skyline Centre, Houghton-le-Spring, DH4 4AJ
  • The Conishead Centre, Sunderland, SR3 2AN
  • The Cornhill Centre, Sunderland, SR5 2LR
  • The Galleries, Washington, NE38 7S

Donations can vary from toys, toiletries, selection boxes, food items, clothing, pet treats and other unused gifts. You can make a donation up until Friday December 9.

If you are interested in giving your time to befriend those who are socially isolated call 0191 525 5000 or email