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Richhill student on why she’s donating to charity’s Christmas appeal this Black Friday

Children’s charity Compassion UK research reveals Northern Irish shoppers buy presents for an average of seven people, and love to shop for Christmas gifts more than any other part of the UK.

As people eye up Black Friday bargains this week, half of shoppers in Northern Ireland are focused on buying Christmas gifts that people will find useful or have specifically asked for this year, according to new research released today.

Gifts that are funny, sentimental or expensive come bottom of the list when shopping for Christmas, whilst just one in ten say that finding a bargain is the driving force behind selecting the perfect gift.

The research into the UK’s Christmas shopping habits was commissioned by Christian child development charity Compassion UK which has launched its ‘Make My Christmas’ Appeal to help give gifts to almost two million children living in poverty around the world this Christmas.

Queen’s University student Jourdan Baird, from Richhill, explained why she’s donated to the Compassion Christmas Appeal.

“Earlier this year I was fortunate to visit a Compassion-supported project in Kenya, and saw first-hand how much one small gift means to a child living in poverty,” explained the 23-year-old.

“I know without a doubt that even the smallest amount will be the most special Christmas gift we can give.

“This Christmas I will be buying presents for around ten people and the thought of this is already stressing me out!

“I am the person who has to put thought into every gift, it always has to be a wee bit unique (never an easy task!).”

Children from a Compassion project in Peru celebrate

As we enter one of the biggest festive shopping weeks, researchers who polled 2,000 UK adults found that despite Northern Irish shoppers having an average of seven people to buy gifts for, one in three (32%) people find Christmas shopping stressful or worrying.

Amy Carter, COO of Compassion UK commented: “This week millions of people will be hitting shops and online stores to tick people off their Christmas shopping lists.

“Here at Compassion we handpick a gift for every child living in poverty around the world that is in our programme. Whether it’s a pair of shoes that is desperately needed, or a child’s first toy, the Compassion team purchase each gift locally.

“Despite almost two million children to buy gifts for, our team find Christmas shopping exciting and joyful, and of course the look on each child’s face when they receive their gift is priceless.”

Ten-year-old Ivan from Brazil holds a gift from Compassion

Compassion’s aim is to see children around the world lifted out of poverty. By working in partnership with local churches in developing countries, Compassion will link a child in critical need with a caring sponsor.

For a donation of £25 a month a child is supported by their local Compassion project where they will receive nutritious meals, emotional and spiritual support, medical attention and the chance to get a good quality education.

In addition to buying gifts for the 1.82 million children who have sponsors around the world, Compassion is planning to bless the 160,959 children waiting to be sponsored with Christmas presents too.

Seven-year-old Prisca from Togo opens a Christmas gift with her friends

Seven year old Prisca from Togo in West Africa, who has been waiting almost four years to be sponsored, told the Compassion team: “I would be so happy to receive a Christmas gift, it would be my joy.”

Prisca’s Christmas wish is for a backpack that she could take to the project. Prisca and her friends are looking forward to the Compassion project Christmas party as they sing, dance, eat and play games.

A donation of £10 can ensure that a child still awaiting sponsorship receives a Christmas gift this year. For more information on how you can help visit http://www.compassionuk.org/christmasgift

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