GROWING up in a house where my parents fought constantly, Christmas would be a likely time for more turmoil.

Eventually they separated and my brother and I moved into my granny’s house where peace, at last, prevailed and Christmas finally became something to look forward to, not dread.

That’s why it’s so sad for me to see new research from Action for Children, a charity I’ve been an ambassador for since 2017, that shows most children in the UK today are worried this Christmas may not be the happy time it normally is. I know only too well what that feels like.

It’s not surprising the pandemic has left them anxious, scared and lonely. While growing numbers of parents are struggling with their own anxieties, wondering how they’re going to afford to keep their family warm and well fed – some are even selling belongings to pay for any festivities.

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As always, Action for Children will be there for these vulnerable families, making sure they are supported in their time of need. But this year their frontline staff all over the country will be needed more than ever. Whether that’s giving out food vouchers for a hot meal, making sure gas and electric bills are taken care of, picking up vital prescriptions, or just being there to listen, to help.

I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with their frontline workers and it’s a truly humbling experience - but they need your help to make a life changing difference to our most vulnerable children and families.

The generosity of the British public has shone through in a year it has been so desperately needed. But we’re not out of the woods yet. I’m asking you to become a Secret Santa for these vulnerable children by texting PRESENT to 70607 to donate £10 or by visiting

Let these children and families know that someone is thinking of them this Christmas.

Action for Children ambassador