Petersfield’s first Christmas Present Exchange, hosted by two local charities, Petersfield Climate Action Network (PeCAN) and the Winton House Centre (WHC), demonstrated and celebrated the community spirit and generosity of many local residents. In response to a short publicity campaign before Christmas quite a lot of people brought unwanted Christmas presents to WHC in the New Year. What began as a trickle grew into a flood of new and unused items with over 250 items being donated overall. In return for their unwanted gift, people were given a token to exchange for one of the other donated gifts on Saturday 15th January. More than two-thirds of the donated items had found happy new owners by the end of the morning and all the gifts left over will go to benefit two other local charities, Home-Start Butser and Age Concern, both based at WHC.
Local residents said they really appreciated the concept behind the event which felt like a win-win. The collaboration between PeCAN and Winton House the Christmas spirit a little longer and raised awareness of the work of these two charities. Amelia Gabriel, Programme Manager of PeCAN said: “Every time you reuse, regift, repair or recycle something, you are helping to reduce the biggest source of Petersfield’s carbon emissions i.e. purchase of goods, because CO2 is released as the things we buy are made and transported.”