Forest Town pub's generous gesture brings festive cheer to children who would have gone without

A Forest town family pub is hoping to bring some festive cheer to children who would have otherwise gone without this Christmas.

Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 12:35 pm

Every year Hilary and Tony Holmes, who run The Foxglove, give presents to the children of families who come to eat at their pub at Christmas.

Hilary starts buying the toys, paid for with her own money, around January and collects them throughout the year.

This year due to Covid 19 closing the pub, she decided to donate them to help children whose family have been struggling during the pandemic.

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Presents under the tree
Presents under the tree

Hilary has taken around 50 gifts, for boys and girls of all ages, to Meadow House, for Mansfield social services to gift to families.

Grandparents Hilary and Tony, both 58, have run the Foxglove for five years but have been in the hospitality trade for around 20 years.

Tony said: “It’s all Hilary’s doing this. She is a force of nature, she loves Christmas and loves kids. She loves to decorates the pub with her home made decorations, she goes to town.

Christmas presents for children collected by Hilary and Tony Holmes at the Foxglove

"We love working at Christmas, it’s the highlight of our year, we are going to really miss it this year. Hilary decided to give the toys to children who might not get a lot this year.

"We thought, we are doing OK, we are employed by Marstons, we have a roof over our heads, we are working, and our company has looked after us but there are lots of people not so fortunate.

"In the past, I’ve known what it is like to be skint, the pressure on families at Christmas can be hard. It is not the fault of children if their parents are struggling.

"When you get a bit older you become more aware, these things bother you. We have three grand-kids, three daughters - plus one extra unofficial one we now think of as ours! It makes you think, what if it was one of ours in that situation. You want to help.

"Hilary doesn’t seek praise or publicity, in fact she’s embarrassed it got put on Facebook!

“But it has generated some lovely comments, it means a lot. We are looking forward to welcoming our customers back when Covid is over. We might even have an unofficial Christmas later in the year if we can!”