How you can give back to Harrogate's emergency services this Christmas
A big-hearted Harrogate resident is re-launching her appeal to thank our emergency services this Christmas.
After an overwhelming response last year, Catherine Constantine from Jennyfields is collecting goodies for hampers to give out to the town's paramedics, firefighters and police officers.
For most of us, Christmas is a time to be spent with family, and Catherine is keen to help raise awareness of the sacrifices that Harrogate's emergency services make to keep us safe over the festive period - working long hours and not taking any time out of their duties.
Catherine said: "I just think it's important to say thank you, especially at Christmas, to those frontline emergency heroes who are always there and always look after us - whenever, wherever, and in our darkest and most difficult times.
"Unfortunately I don't think they always get the respect or support they deserve in such difficult times, and I think our frontline emergency staff can get forgotten and just taken for granted.
"So I think it's important to show them that they are respected, and what they do is appreciated - especially with attacks on staff by the people they are trying to help becoming more and more frequent. "At Christmas, those who are on duty will be giving up special family time, missing out on watching their children open presents on Christmas Day. I know that they will have their Christmas another day, but it's not really the same is it?"
The collection point for the hampers is Jennyfields Co-op. Residents can donate items including chocolate, mince pies, handmade gifts and crafts.
Catherine said: "I was blown away by people's generosity last year - to get nine hampers to all our frontline emergency staff in Harrogate was amazing. I was genuinely touched and heartened by the response and support given to what I was doing.
"The paramedics and firefighters said that no one had ever done anything like this before. Some of them had been serving for over 10 years. For me personally, it got quite emotional, especially with the paramedics as some of them were just so overwhelmed that they didn't know what to say.
"It all brought it home what Christmas is really about - giving something back. They were genuinely touched that people cared and actually appreciated what they did."
The deadline for donations is December 21.