Why become a charity Secret Santa in 2023

Wednesday 29 November 2023
Boy looking into the camera holding a teddy bear

By being a Secret Santa, you could help a vulnerable child feel the magic of Christmas. Children across the UK need a charity Secret Santa like you.

Christmas should be a time of festivity and joy. Hanging stockings. Sharing festive food. Presents under the tree. It’s a time for children to make precious memories. For them to feel happiness and love – the kind of magic that lasts a lifetime.

But for vulnerable children across the UK, Christmas is anything but magical. No special presents. No festive food - maybe no food at all. That’s why we’re asking you to become a charity Secret Santa. Because with your help, we could put the magic back into Christmas for vulnerable child.

It was coming up to Christmas and they didn’t have heating in the house, they didn’t have food in the cupboards. There was no magic.

Sian, Family support worker

Right now, there are 4.2 million children living in poverty in the UK. That’s 600,000 more than in 2012. And 29% of all children.

It is no surprise that for these families, making happy memories feels out of reach. How do you give a child a Christmas to remember when you’re going without food so they can eat? How can they experience the magic of Christmas if it’s just another day to go to bed hungry and to wake up cold?

At Action for Children, we have thousands of frontline workers supporting children every day. We’ve seen children without a bed sleeping on the floor with just blankets. Families phoning us crying because they have no money to feed their children. We know missing out on essentials like these can quickly define a child’s whole life.

But we also see the incredible difference your support makes.

How our Secret Santas make a difference

Smiling young boy outside wearing a red coat.

In the run up to Christmas, support worker and single parent *Helen was struggling to make ends meet. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we were able to help.

Action for Children stepped in with food vouchers and money to buy *Alex a winter coat...

“It was perfect timing. I literally had nothing". "I felt so bad that *Alex just had this thin coat and it was getting colder. With the money I was able to buy him a really warm coat.”

Food vouchers also made all the difference to the family...

“I was crying and stressed, if I hadn’t had the money from Action for Children then Christmas would have been ruined.”

*Helen, who received help from Action for Children

“The vouchers meant I could just do a massive Christmas shop, I got crackers, a leg of lamb, just beautiful. It all really made such a difference. I can still have low moods at times but Christmas, that really lifted my spirits and to see my son happy and so excited about his new coat and our special dinner, that was lovely.”

*Names have been changed to protect identity.

Be a Secret Santa

Many children will wake up on Christmas to no stockings. No presents. No festive food. Your gift could change this.

Choose a gift

How to become a charity Secret Santa

Man and two children in their kitchen at home wearing christmas jumpers. The man is helping one child put on a christmas paper hat

Becoming a Secret Santa is easy. You can donate directly to our appeal via our website at, or choose a symbolic gift such as warm winter clothes and bedding or a trip to visit santa.

This year, you can also become a Secret Santa by buying one of our limited-edition baubles designed by our celebrity supporter, Billie Shepherd or 11-year-old Jess, who was supported by Action for Children last Christmas.

Billie Sheppard holding her personalised Christmas AFC Bauble

Billie with her Magical Bauble, designed for Action for Children

It was coming up to Christmas and they didn’t have heating in the house, they didn’t have food in the cupboards. There was no magic.

Sian, Family support worker

By becoming an Action for Children charity Secret Santa this year, you could help give a vulnerable family a Christmas as special as Helen and Alex's. You could give a vulnerable child the essentials of a hot meal or a special present just for them.

Last year, your generous support helped us be there for 765,905 children, young people and families in the UK, through 426 services. Vulnerable children and families given hope and support, because of amazing people like you.

Childhood is short and precious. There isn’t long to make happy memories. That’s why we need your support now.

You could help put the magic back into a vulnerable child’s Christmas by becoming a Secret Santa.