The Giving Tree

Our flagship campaign connects chosen gifts to local people in need by collaborating with local charities, helping businesses and members of the public to become a Super Secret Santa.

The Giving Tree enriches thousands of lives each year through simple Secret Santa kindness. Connect Reading manages Reading’s Giving Tree, connecting gifts with local people in need.  Your donation helps purchase a chosen, requested gift for a local person or child.  Our member non-profits ask those they support what gift they’d like for Christmas (up to £15). We then ensure that very gift reaches them for Christmas! Member businesses and our public appeal hosted by the Oracle Shopping Centre enable people to become Secret Santas for a local person in need. Join in!

Online Donations buy gifts that are unfulfilled by the public campaign. Connect Reading can then purchase those gifts, connecting them with the person or child who requested them!

If you’d like a little festive cheer whilst you donate, purchase our 2022 Giving Tree Song. Lyrics were crowd-sourced from previous participants. The song was performed by member charities and local students! Purchase the song here – all donations go towards Giving Tree Gifts!

The Giving Tree 2023 so far…

  • 17 local charities and the local hospital are receiving gifts for their beneficiaries
  • 15 locally based businesses are participating, directly matched with charities resonating with their ESG
  • So far, over 1,300 gifts are being processed… There’s still time to connect more kindness, so why not join in?!

Recipient charities: Refugee Support Group, Royal Berkshire Hospital, Chemogiftbags, Brookfields School, RAB Sight Loss, Brighter Futures for Children, Reading Mencap, No5 Young People, Berkshire Vision, Sport in Mind, Reading Family Aid, Dingley’s Promise, The Cowshed, Berkshire Women’s Aid, Royal Berks Charity, Parents & Children Together, Parenting Special Children & ABC to Read.

Participating Businesses: Active Workplace Solutions, Hoare Lea, Thames Water, PepsiCo, Reading Borough Council, Acclaro Advisory, Tender Response, MHA MacIntyre Hudson, Novotel Hotel ReadingKittle Group, Green Park, University of Reading, Co-Space and the Oracle.

The Giving Tree 2022 in numbers:

  • 1,535 gifts received, worth £23,025
  • £4,984 raised online to buy gifts
  • 342  gifts given at The Oracle, worth £5,814
  • £7,170 worth of gifts & donations given by local Reading businesses
  • 22 local charities, schools & the hospital worked with their beneficiaries to ensure chosen gifts were received
  • £2,357 underwritten by Connect Reading from our reserves, to make sure no one went without at Christmas

The Giving Tree 2021 in numbers:

  • 2,075 gifts received, worth £21,405
  • Over £6k raised online for gifts
  • £8,235 worth of gifts given by the public through The Oracle
  • £7,170 worth of gifts & donations given by local Reading businesses
  • 21 local charities, schools & the hospital worked with their beneficiaries to ensure chosen gifts were received
  • £4,573 underwritten by Connect Reading from our reserves, to make sure no one went without at Christmas
The Giving Tree is a wonderful project. I'd been struggling more than usual, what with the cost of living crisis. Sometimes I felt very isolated... but the personalised gift was hugely welcome and connected me with the kindness of a stranger.
Giving Tree Gift Recipient
The Giving Tree, 2022