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Our final edition of NICE News for 2020! We're sharing supporter triumphs, a parent's heartfelt blog post about this year, and some words from our CEO.
A huge thank you to the children of Hallfield School for supporting us with their Christmas Jumper Day of festive fun. Over 500 children took part, in their bubbles, and all were dressed very appropriately for their Polar Express activity. They took along their precious tickets and had a magical afternoon. Pupils were surprised with music from the film, not to mention hot chocolate and cookies from a magnificent gingerbread train!

Their fundraising efforts raised a phenomenal £945.56! We are so grateful to all the children and teachers involved, especially Miss Castleton - the driving force behind these amazing activities!
A few words from children who took part on the day:
“On the 9th of December we got to wear Christmas jumpers and it was AMAZING”

“We watched Nativity, Polar Express and The Grinch, I loved it”

“It was one of the best days”
Our children have also been enjoying the festivities and loved wearing some Christmassy outfits last week.
What a great display of support from everyone who took part in our virtual 10k. We had a great range of activities in the end - from running, to walking and even rowing! We had a small yet fabulous collection of superstars participating, helping to raise a brilliant £260 for us.

Keep your eyes peeled in January for another chance to get involved with your very own NICE challenge!
A huge thank you to Shoosmiths for holding a NICE Quiz! They brought together a whopping 53 employees together over Zoom to pick their brains in support of our charity. Amazing show of how a simple digital fundraising concept can make a big difference. Their wonderful efforts raised over £600 for us and we couldn't be more grateful to them, with special thanks to Amy, who put in lots of work behind the scenes to organise this event.
Seeing all the Christmas lights twinkling has certainly lifted our spirits through the winter of this tough year. Some of our supporters have gone the extra mile with the feel-good festive decorations. Tania and Michael Stace have launched an 'Advent Christmas Window Display' down their road. With 25 houses signed up to take part, they have each lit up their windows as their advent day arrives. Head to their fundraising page to find out more.
Our NICE Online Charity Shop has had lots of custom since its recent launch. Don't forget to join the group on Facebook if you haven't already. Huge thanks to those who have made purchases, or even just spread the word about it. Over £300 has been raised so far and we're delighted!
With Christmas drawing near, many of us may well be making those Amazon orders at the last minute! If you aren't yet signed up, we'd love you to consider Amazon Smile - they donate to us at no cost to you and it's a huge help to us.
Have you seen our Shine a Light for NICE short film? It's all about helping us remain steady and stable into 2021. If you'd like to donate, you can text us with one of the codes below.
Ranjit, mother to Arjan in Red Boots School, has written a blog post about her experience as a parent in lockdown. Click here to read Ranjit's story.
Before we go, here's a message from our CEO, Mel:
Dear friends and supporters
 
We are now nearing the end of 2020 and our thoughts do of course go out to everyone who has lost dear friends and family during this pandemic. We know that the impact of this time will be long-lasting for so many people however we must also look into a brighter future, one with renewed hope and excitement for the journey ahead.
 
Over the past months we have learnt a great deal about human resilience, adaptability and the strength of our communities. At NICE we have witnessed the determination of our families to continue to strive to achieve new skills and not to ever give up on their aims and ambitions. We are humbled to have been a part of this journey.
 
So now we look into 2021. Of course there is still a great deal of uncertainty but we are ready to ensure that our services remain open and available in ways which enable all generations – from young to old – to access our work safely. We will continue to show our strength and resilience and strive to make sure that our families do not become secondary casualties of COVID-19. To do that we will work tirelessly to keep the charity going, provide a range of services which are needed more than ever and keep strong in our belief that we can all change, develop and learn.
 
We wish you all many blessings over this holiday time and a safe, secure, and healthy year ahead.
As always, thank you so much for reading!

Annie and Hannah
NICE Fundraising Team
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