Siblings spread smiles to disadvantaged children during second lockdown
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Siblings spread smiles to disadvantaged children during second lockdown

Natasha Langleben and Josh Adley, who launched Linkey UK, embark on initiative to ensure young people receive gifts during the holiday season

Brigit Grant is the Jewish News Supplements Editor

Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon is donating hundreds of books, many of them signed and £1,000 was raised in donations this week for gift buying. 
Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon is donating hundreds of books, many of them signed and £1,000 was raised in donations this week for gift buying. 

Instead of gardening and watching Netflix, a brother and sister team used the first lockdown earlier this year to source essential items for frontline workers. 

Natasha Langleben and Josh Adley, who in 2017 co-founded Linkey, a social enterprise to support the homeless, helped create a staffroom for nurses, provided snacks and vital skin products for medical teams and found companies willing to donate, along with the charities they partnered. 

Now as a second lockdown begins, the pair are at it again. Determined to make December the season to be jolly, Linkey UK is partnering with Young Barnet Foundation and Jewish News as media partner to ensure disadvantaged children in the borough receive a wrapped present. 

Gifts will also be donated to children for Chanukah through the charities Noa Girls, The Boys Clubhouse, Jami, Jewish Women’s Aid and the Jewish Family Centre. 

Natasha Langleben and Josh Adley

In the past few days, Rachel Riley has also joined the campaign and tweeted about it.

“Child poverty is not an issue anyone can ignore,” says Adley. “Linkey, as the name suggests was launched to link those who care with those in need and, right now, it is children who should not go without Christmas or
Chanukah.”

It was an encounter with a homeless man in Barnet that pushed Adley towards these philanthropic initiatives. “He asked me where the nearest shelter was and I didn’t know. 

“He was desperate and as I left, he said: ‘You’re not going to just leave me here are you?’” That was the turning point for the pair, who are both parents and wear their hearts on their sleeves.

“We are Jews who celebrate Christmas,” says Adley sheepishly, revealing that their cleaner last year brought her son who saw their tree and the presents underneath. “He said to his mum ‘I thought Santa couldn’t come this year?’ This was one of the most heartbreaking moments of my life.” 

He and his sister made sure the boy got the present he wanted and intend to do the same for hundreds of others with the 2020 campaign. 

Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon is donating hundreds of books, many of them signed and £1,000 was raised in donations this week for gift buying. 

Linkey UK has launched the campaign in Liverpool and hopes to extend it
elsewhere. 

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