How Mother Christmas has been bringing cheer all year round with help from Nando's

Jeanette takes meals from Nando's to treat families across Northamptonshire

By Alison Bagley
Monday, 15th November 2021, 1:19 pm
Updated Monday, 15th November 2021, 1:20 pm

Last week we launched our annual Christmas toy appeal to help disadvantaged children across the whole of Northamptonshire spearheaded by the county's own Mother Christmas - Jeanette Walsh.

Every year readers of this newspaper supports those in the most need at Christmas with generous donations of toys and gifts and for the second year running we have set up a donation page for those who wish to give online.

But once Christmas is over, and Mother Christmas hangs up her suit, retired social worker Jeanette doesn't just kick back and relax.

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Mother Christmas Jeanette Walsh will be working with Nando's on the appeal

As well as running an annual Easter egg appeal, Jeanette has expanded her caring to providing meals for families in need throughout Northamptonshire helped by her employer Nando's.

Grandmother Jeanette, 63, who works as a greeter in Nando's Kettering, said: "Nando's in Northampton had always helped me with their shoebox appeal about five years ago.

"They collected shoeboxes with toys and gifts and they were passed on to me. They helped me so much that I told them I would come and work for them for free - and they gave me a job."

Since March 2021, Jeanette has been delivering Nando's meals to vulnerable families supplied by Nando's in Northampton, Kettering, Corby, Rushden Lakes and from the Rugby branch to supply Daventry.

Mother Christmas with James Thomson, Callum O'Leary, Logan Kennedy and Gemma Smith

Five days a week she collects and personally delivers two meals a day to different families in need across the county - providing hundreds of meals for those identified by social services.

She said: "They are mainly people who have left care and have young families. I contact them and they tell me what they would like from the menu.

"It's absolutely wonderful to see their faces. They can't afford a treat like this normally. It's such a privilege to be able to help.

"I would like to thank Nando's for supporting disadvantaged families not only with the meals but also collecting toys and gifts for the Mother Christmas appeal."

Dale Cotterell

'Patrao' and general manager for Corby Nando's Dale Cotterell said: "It's a real pleasure to be working with Jeanette on her Christmas appeal and providing meals for people in our community."

As well as staff donating their shoeboxes of gifts, Nando's restaurants are also helping with the annual Christmas toy appeal hosting collection points for gifts that will be distributed to disadvantaged children.

Unwrapped toys and gifts for teenagers down to babies can be donated at Nando's in Corby, Kettering, Rushden Lakes and Northampton.

Jeanette added: "I grew up in care and I know the difference its makes for children with nothing to be given something, by someone who doesn't know you, it's magical.

Some of the items donated via the shoebox appeal

"Just one thing is more than nothing. Please support us as much as you can - we're local for local."

You can make a donation to the Northamptonshire Newspapers Christmas appeal by clicking here or pop into one of the Northamptonshire Nando's or Wellingborough Museum during opening hours.

The shoebox appeal has been run by Nando's for six years