Saracens couple Kate and Will Skelton come up with a Christmas cracker of an idea to help needy children
Saracens couple Kate and Will Skelton are hoping to bring bags-full of cheer to children in need this Christmas.
Kate, who was a part of Saracens Women's amazing comeback against Harlequins last weekend, thought of the idea as a spin-off of her flower business.
The prop sells flowers, makes wreaths and runs workshops as her full-time job away from rugby.
She sells the flowers in big brown bags and thought why not use them for something else at Christmas time? So she invited local people to buy an empty bag from her for £15, which she would fill with toys and give to deserving children.
The Skeltons then matched all donations and smashed their target, creating 104 bags which they will take to a local church and the organisation KidsOut.
“For us, Christmas is all about kids,” she says. “Even though we are away from our families, we always make sure that at Christmas there are kids around.
“Christmas should be innocent and kids should stay innocent for as long as possible. I guess it’s the thought of some kids not having that excitement and having to deal with things that only adults should have to, kids shouldn’t be exposed to them.
“Growing up, I didn’t have much money but I learnt that the more you give the more you get to give.
“For me, it’s never been an option. I’ve got this so I’ve got to give what I can of that and not waste it. Being encouraged to be more generous has been easier on this side of the world because of the people we’re surrounded by and some of the gestures people have done for us.”
Saracens player and Australian international Will says his wife's charitable giving has rubbed off on him.
The lock said: “It’s fairly new and I think it came from Kate. I’m in a fortunate position being a professional athlete.
"I feel that comes with a responsibility to look after your family and there are less fortunate people who need help.
“Before I met Kate, I didn’t think I was very generous and now I try to live up to that. I didn’t know much about these issues but she explained them to me and there are kids out there who are struggling and if we can breathe life into their Christmas, that’s good.”