Out of the darkness of 2020, there has been an abundance of light

South Devon High School pupils, wearing face masks, with piles of wrapped Christmas gifts

Pupils at South Devon High School collected gifts for RE4orm to distribute this Christmas - Credit: Submitted

Christmas this year, will be tough for many of us.

The impact of Covid continues to affect us all in ways we have not experienced before.

It should never be forgotten that among the many people celebrating with their families and behind the adverts for the ‘perfect’ family Christmas, there are countless people out there for whom Christmas will not be as merry.

The elderly with no visitors on Christmas Day, families with barely enough money or food to go around, the many homeless people crowded in their local shelter, or worse, still out there on the streets.

This isn't to take the shine from the brilliance of Christmas or to provide a reason for us to dwell in negativity. Rather, it is about reminding ourselves of the power of giving. About the importance of spreading positivity; as when we share our positive energies and our abundance with others, we send greater positivity out into the world.

This, in turn, will attract even greater positivity into your own life.

Team RE4orm are a brilliant example of the power of community and the impact each of us as individuals can make, by giving back.

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Made up of over 50 volunteers, local businesses and the wider community, Team RE4orm is a phenomenal force to be reckoned with.

I have never met individuals like those in Team RE4orm; volunteers who strive to make the world a better place.

I knew our community in Torbay was special, but this year has proved it is like no other.

Everyone who knows me, knows I’m rarely lost for words. But this evening, as I reflect on the tenacity, love and commitment of Team RE4orm and our community, I am.

Over the last week, we have sent out hundreds of Christmas presents and hampers across Torbay to families who are struggling this Christmas.

Filled with the most wonderful presents, gifts and treats - the donations we were able to give were simply breath-taking.

We have hundreds more presents to deliver on Christmas Eve along with meals and hampers - we cannot wait to spread more festive cheer, and make this Christmas a little easier.

We have collected more than 1,200 new Christmas presents as well as boxes and boxes of food and festive treats.

This is all thanks to YOU; the incredible, fantastic, completely awesome people of Torbay. I’m blown away by what we have been able to achieve with your support.

Over the last month, 42 local businesses have stepped forward and supported RE4orm’s Christmas appeal.

The sheer drive and determination of these local businesses and community groups is extraordinary. It makes me feel emotional that even during a time of unprecedented uncertainty, so many have selflessly given to others in need.

The feedback we have received from local schools and families has been wonderful!

YOU have made a difference to many lives - I hope you know this, and I hope you feel proud of what you have done for your neighbours this year.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you in our community.

To see people come together to help those in need has been breath-taking.

I hope as we embark upon 2021, that this love, compassion and hope shown by so many, continues.

Out of the darkness of 2020, there has been an abundance of light. Let’s ensure that continues.

The new year heralds the launch of our mobile community centre and I am beyond excited to get this on the road.

The bright green bus, symbolises hope and change, designed by the community, for the community – its impact will be like no other. We want you all to be involved with its work.

Torbay gets a bad press sometimes, but there’s no other community I’d want to be a part of.