Small village, big heart

Two talking reindeer looking for a beach

The food bank collection in Camber has been terrific this year and Karen Jeffrey, manageress of a beach front café, has repeatedly collected from the doors of those who are able to buy extra at the shops and then transport the food gifts to Rye and the food bank’s distribution centre based at the Baptist church.

And now we have her generosity and organisational skills to thank for her idea of “Gift a child in Camber” as we in Camber now hope to present a magical moment for our children.

And this is an extravaganza of an event for Camber village as every child in Camber will receive a present as well as a surprise, as Pontins manager Mark Teare has generously rushed  two talking reindeer to Nisa in Camber, where manager Damien Brown has popped the two reindeer in a spot leaving just enough room for Santa to appear and be at the gift giving event, and of course the ceremony will be complete with a photo of the children, individually, with Santa.

Social distancing well organised

The  presents are given to Camber children whose parents have been in contact with Karen so there is a list – and the event will be on Sunday, December 20 for villagers and NHS workers’ children from 11am – 4pm and also on Monday, December 21 for locals from 11am – 4pm which should allow for around 80 children each day.

To remove any fears, this occasion has been well thought out by Karen, Mark and Damien. All necessary distancing will be in place with a one way system and five minute time slots that provide distancing for the child, parent and Santa – and Santa  will be behind a fence, with two singing reindeer and polar bears!

The photographer will be positioned so it looks as if the children are next to Santa and a free framed photo will be ready when they leave via a back door. The gifts are, as before,  donated from those who could buy Christmas gifts for those who this year may not be able to.

My thanks to all involved, especially Karen, Mark and Damien, and to all who donated gifts and wrapped them! Camber is a small village with a very large beach and an even bigger heart.

Image Credits: Carol Macdonald .


  1. Karen has been fantastic collecting donations for Rye Food Bank and making regular deliveries to all this year. We are all very appreciative of her efforts. Karen does so much to support us and we are all so grateful to her. Thank you Karen!


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