A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to bring festive gifts to HGV drivers in Northampton who are having to work on Christmas day.
It has so far raised £540 to support NN1 Personnel's 'Christmas Act of Kindness', a yearly initiative that brings gifts to HGV drivers having to work away from their families on Christmas day.
Damien Sodel is the founder of the company, which is an award-winning HGV driver recruitment company based in Northampton that he runs alongside his wife, Justina.
According to Damien, the 'Christmas Act of Kindness' was born in 2019 after one of his drivers had a bright idea.
He said: "A couple of years ago, before Christmas, one of our drivers brought this idea to us.
"He used to be a long distance European trucker and he sometimes had to spend Christmas away from away from family. This made him feel emotional and lonely being away from family in the festive season.
"So we did some research and asked other drivers and they all said the same thing.
"Then we decided to do something about it."
The business owner then visited multiple local truckstops and bays around Northampton, delivering gifts to drivers so the merry surprise could brighten up their Christmas away.
Gifts now come in organised packages containing a small bottle of beer, coffee, tea, some mince pies, ready-made sandwiches, chocolates, sweets, as well as homemade cakes from members of Damien's company.
Depending on donations, the contents could get even more generous over time.
It is hoped the initiative will distribute 100 gift packages this year, with that many ready-made sandwiches already donated.
Damien, who himself was an HGV driver before founding the company, added: "Over the last couple years, we've seen drivers are massively surprised and really grateful. It just puts a smile on their face because none of them expect it.
"For them, it's nice to know someone is thinking about them this Christmas.
"To me, it's a no brainer. The more we raise, the more drivers we can appreciate. I think those drivers really need that appreciation, especially during these emotional times.
"Covid-19 had a big impact on them and their industry. Many of them have been working throughout and helped keep our economy ticking over.
"We're key workers, so for us it's never stopped."
Damien hopes that the initiative could go nationwide, as he said situations like these are found all over the country, as drivers work hard to keep our shelves fully stocked this Christmas.
Anyone who would like to donate can find visit their GoFundMe page.