CHRISTMAS is supposed to be a time to think of others and that festive spirit has been seen in abundance by a childminder after she had her presents for 20 youngsters stolen.
Emma Tyler runs Tyler’s Tiny Tots in Churchdown and hands out gifts to her children and their parents as a thank you each year.
Lego, dolls, chocolate selection boxes and a raft other goodies were wrapped up and stored in her garage but “sad” thieves did their best to cancel Christmas for Emma by raiding them.
“All they took was the presents,” said Emma, 28. “There was expensive stuff in the garage, bikes and things like that, but they didn’t touch them. I think it’s sad people would do that, that they have to break into other people’s homes and steal things. They’ve deprived children of Christmas presents and toys.”
To make matters worse, the venue for a Christmas party Emma had organised for the kids called and cancelled at the last minute.
But from such depths, things have had a remarkable turnaround thanks to good old-fashioned community spirit. Supermum Claire Wicks, whose daughter Ruby-Mae goes to Tiny Tots, put together a rallying cry and came up trumps.
“We got a new venue for the party, the GL3 Hub in Churchdown and they did it for half price, which a local building firm paid for,” said Emma. There will even be a bouncy castle, donated for free. It’s their party today.
Alex Clark lettings sent 25 big selection boxes and Tesco in Quedgeley sent 25 smaller ones. On top of that, Street House Studios Dance Academy in Gloucester gave £100 to buy new presents.
Claire, 29, said Emma and the children at Tiny Tots are like “extended family” for her daughter.
“I was very upset when I heard what happened because it’s their party,” she said. “I know Tony Bowden, who runs Smart Communications and knows loads of businesspeople – he put a plea out on Facebook and the response was amazing.
“It’s gone from one extreme to another and it’s really nice to know there’s so many people out there prepared to help out a little childminders. It’s heartwarming.”
The break-in happened in the early hours of last Friday, Emma thinks.
Police spokesman Chris Jackson said: “Sadly, burglars do look at Christmas as a time for taking rather than giving so people should be very careful about how and where they store presents.
“If storing a lot of presents, as in this case, try to do so in a safe and secure setting. Always get your property security marked as well because it means we will be able to identify it if found and prove that it was stolen in the first place.”