The Sarah Groves Foundation is once again donating dozens of bicycles to children from poorer families this Christmas.
The Foundation has resumed its annual tradition after covid-19 prevented the gift of bicycles last year.
On Christmas Day, 39 children will receive new bikes paid for by the Foundation at a total cost of around £10,000.
“Every minute I spend organizing it is a pleasure. I only wish I could be a fly on the wall on Christmas morning to see the joy in the faces of the children,” said Sarah's mother, Kate Groves, who leads the project.
She works with a number of agencies in the island to identify children who should benefit from the scheme, including States' social services, Bright Beginnings, Safer and Home-Start Guernsey.
“They ask for feedback from their out-workers and it’s normally based on the children to whom the value of it is more than to others," she said.
Pictured: For several years - apart from last year when the pandemic stopped the initiative - the Sarah Groves Foundation has been contributing thousands of pounds annually to provide children from poorer backgrounds with new bicycles on Christmas morning.
The Foundation's only condition is that the bikes must be presented as presents on Christmas Day to maximise the elements of surprise and joy.
“Sadly, last year we couldn’t do it because of the lack of production in the Far East due to covid-19. I tried every which way, but it just couldn’t happen,” said Mrs Groves.
“We’ve pushed the boat out this year and there are 39 bikes that are going to children who are not as fortunate as others.”
The Foundation raises funds at various charitable events throughout the year.
“We as Sarah’s parents and trustees of the Foundation are just the vehicle. It’s the island-folk who have helped us to raise this money and the people who have fundraised for us."
The bikes are mainly for children aged 11 and under. However, this year there are a few exceptions.
“A couple of years ago, we thought it was appropriate to have an upper age limit. But this year there are a couple of recipients who are in their mid-teens, who because of their circumstances we just didn’t hesitate to say yes to."
The initiative is supported by Paul Brehaut and Ian Brown of Ian Brown’s Cycle Shop.
"This is a team effort and the contribution, financial and otherwise, of Paul Brehaut and Ian Brown must not be underestimated," said the Foundation.
"The bikes are prepared and checked to a high standard and, where appropriate, safety helmets are included. Our thanks go to them for making the presentation possible."
The identity of the recipients is kept confidential and unknown to the Foundation.
Credit for all pictures: Chris George Photography.
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