The Metropolitan Police has launched its Christmas Tree Project charity appeal to ensure thousands of children across the capital receive a special festive present this year.

The appeal was announced by Commissioner Cressida Dick as she switched on the Christmas tree lights outside the Met’s new HQ for the first time.

The Christmas Tree Project has been running since 2012, and encourages the public to give presents which will be passed on to children who would otherwise go without.

Last year’s appeal event resulted in 17,016 gifts being given to children across London, and more than £20,000 was donated on JustGiving by 493 supporters to go towards gifts.

Commissioner Dick said: “At this time of giving and festivities, we have the opportunity to spread a little joy to those children less fortunate and in care.

“Since our Christmas Tree appeal in 2012, we have seen its success grow year after year.

"The generosity and goodwill of officers, staff and fellow Londoners will see the presents delivered to children and young people in care this Christmas.

“My deepest thanks go to all those who donate.”

The lit up Christmas tree outside the Met's new headquarters on the Victoria Embankment

London mayor Sadiq Khan is giving the campaign his backing. He said: “Christmas is a time for giving, and the Met’s Christmas Tree Appeal offers a chance to make a real difference to young and vulnerable Londoners in care.

“An incredible amount of money was raised last year with thousands of young people across the capital receiving gifts, and I know Londoners will be just as generous this year.

"I urge everyone to get involved and let these children know we are thinking of them at Christmas.”

The gifts will given to babies and children aged from just one week to 17, who are currently being cared for by foster parents, in residential care homes, in refuges, in hospitals or from low income families.

The suggested spend for gifts this year is no more than £20.

All presents will be delivered to the children before Christmas Day.

How to give to the Met’s Christmas Tree Appeal

Christmas trees will be lit outside police stations and other public places in all of London’s 32 boroughs.

Londoners are encouraged to get behind the campaign and give a gift by taking a tagged ribbon from a tree in your borough or at New Scotland Yard and following the instructions on the tag.

You can also visit the online virtual Met Christmas tree at

In addition, this year members of the public can also just donate money if they are unable to buy a gift by visiting the JustGiving page.

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