CHRISTMAS has started early for a housebuilder looking to spread some festive cheer.

Barratt Homes, which is constructing the Chapel Gate development, in Kingsclere Road, will be taking donations well-established shoebox campaign, Operation Christmas Child between November 11 and 18.

Last year Samaritan’s Purse UK brought the spirit of Christmas to more than half a million children, delivering 511,200 shoeboxes in 11 countries worldwide, including Albania, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Central Asia, Estonia, Liberia, Middle East, Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine.

This is the fifth year that Barratt has supported the campaign by providing its sales and marketing centres as designated drop-off sites.

Lynnette St Quintin, sales and marketing director for Barratt Southern Counties, said: “Christmas is a time for giving, and a little can truly go a long way at this time of year. As a national housebuilder, we are committed to supporting charities both locally here in Basingstoke and also further afield.

“We are very proud to be opening up our Chapel Gate, Gillies Meadow, and Oakwood Grange marketing suites in support of Operation Christmas Child this year. Members of the local community are welcome to fill up a shoebox with gifts for children who are less fortunate and drop it off at our Sales and Marketing Suites between 11th – 18th November.”

The housebuilder’s Chapel Gate development on Kingsclere Road and Gillies Meadow development on Park Prewett Road, both in Basingstoke, and Oakwood Grange development on Griffin Way North in Hook, will be open for the public to deliver their shoeboxes.

Nick Cole, director of Operation Christmas Child UK, added: “We’d like to thank our generous supporters for helping to bring Christmas to so many children across the world last year. It’s fantastic to see that this year we have already received so much support from schools, companies, and individuals as we begin the run-up to our 2019 Operation Christmas Child collection.”

People who are wishing to get involved and donate a shoebox must follow these steps:

• Get an empty medium sized shoebox and wrap the lid and box separately in festive wrapping paper. Select the gender and age category: 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14 for your gift recipient, and download and attach the label to the top of your shoebox.

• Fill the box with suitable gifts, including stuffed animals or toys, school supplies, hygiene items, or clothing – further gift suggestions can be found on the website Please note that due to more stringent import regulations, sweets and toothpaste can no longer be included in the shoeboxes.

• Make an online payment of £5 to cover transportation costs (to donate, go to

• Print off barcode you receive once you have donated and place in the shoe box. • Place a rubber band around the box and drop it off at the Sales and Marketing Suite at Chapel Gate, Gillies Meadow, or Oakwood Grange between 11th and 18th November.

• The Sales and Marketing Suites at these developments are all open open 7 days, Mon 12pm - 5.30pm, Tues - Sun 10am - 5.30pm