Jason Manford delivers much-needed cheer in support of Action for Children Secret Santa campaign

Monday 07 December 2020

  • Comedian Jason Manford joined the Action for Children team in support of the Secret Santa campaign which supports vulnerable children at Christmas
  • The Secret Santa campaign enables people to donate a virtual gift that could provide a vulnerable child with a hot meal, pair of shoes or warm winter clothes
  • Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation (IFCF) is supporting the campaign as lead partner, making each and every one of Iceland’s 28,000 colleagues a Secret Santa

Action For Children has launched its latest campaign encouraging Brits to become a Secret Santa for a vulnerable child this Christmas. For many children, this Christmas will be very different with thousands facing Christmas Day without a hot meal, a present or a safe place to sleep.

The campaign encourages people to become a ‘Secret Santa’, providing a virtual gift that could provide a hot meal, a pair of shoes or warm winter clothes for a vulnerable child. Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation is lead partner for the campaign, and has made all 28,000 Iceland colleagues Secret Santas with a donation of £280,000 to Action for Children.

Comedian Jason Manford has pledged his support to the campaign and is encouraging others to get involved by donating as little as £10 which will pay for a child to be well fed, warm and safe on Christmas Day.

Last week, Jason visited some of the families who are beneficiaries of the charity, surprising them with deliveries of food and toys in the Action for Children ‘Secret Santa van’ and hearing some of the challenges they face first hand. His delivery round in Liverpool enabled him to hear more about how the campaign will benefit families facing Christmas after a year which has turned millions of lives upside down.

Jason said: “This Christmas will be so different for all of us, but for some people it will be a huge struggle, with many facing a reality of choosing between paying the bills or feeding their children, before they can even think about Christmas presents. I met some amazing families last week, who through no fault of their own are facing real challenges, made worse by the pandemic. I was heartened to see the support provided by Action for Children for myself.”

Melanie Armstrong, Chief Executive at Action for Children said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation for our Secret Santa campaign this year. It’s fantastic to see that Jason Manford has signed up to be a Secret Santa too, alongside 28,000 amazing Iceland colleagues. Thank you Jason!

“This generous support will help our frontline workers to deliver life-changing support including giving vulnerable children across the UK a hot meal at Christmas time. As many families go through one of the most difficult festive seasons they have ever faced, the help we provide is needed more than ever before.”

Richard Walker, Trustee of the Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation said: “When we heard about the Secret Santa campaign, we knew we had to help in any way we could, and what better way of supporting it than by making our 28,000 colleagues Secret Santas themselves! Child poverty and food insecurity are issues very close to our hearts as a charitable foundation and something that our colleagues work hard to alleviate. We are delighted to support the work of Action for Children in communities across the UK, especially in a year which has seen many families face tougher challenges than ever.”

Last year, thanks to its wonderful supporters, Action for Children was able to reach nearly 370,000 children, young people and families in the UK, and help to pay for essentials, protect children from domestic abuse and support those with caring responsibilities.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 4 million children were living in poverty in the UK – the equivalent of nine children in a classroom of 30. Action for Children research has found families are growing ever more desperate and parents who’ve never needed help before are now struggling. The charity says more families are having to choose between paying their bills or feeding their children. And with Christmas just around the corner, they're terrified about how they’re going to cope.

To sign up to be a Secret Santa for a vulnerable child, visit


About Action for Children

Action for Children protects and supports vulnerable children and young people by providing practical and emotional care and support, ensuring their voices are heard and campaigning to bring lasting improvements to their lives. With 476 services in communities across the country, the charity helps more than 387,000 children, teenagers, parents and carers a year.

About Iceland Foods Charitable Foundation (IFCF)

The IFCF has donated well over £30m to good causes in the UK. Since 2010 it has focused principally on fundraising for dementia research, donating £10m to UCL Dementia Research to help fund construction of the London hub of the new UK Dementia Research Institute, more than £5m to Alzheimer’s Research UK, and over £1.5m to the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland. Other major donations have included £3 million to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, over £1.5 million to Help For Heroes, and more than £1m to Prostate Cancer UK.