Two adopted brothers and their school friends have donated sacks of Christmas presents to children in need in Wolverhampton – all in memory of their close friend who sadly passed away last year.

The boys, aged 8 and 6, and both adopted via Adoption@Heart, the adoption agency for the Black Country, came up with the idea after hearing about how many children would normally go without presents over the festive period. 

Having sadly lost their close friend Raheel last year, the boys and their school friends wanted to donate the gifts in his memory. 

The boys’ mother said: “We were so blessed to have adopted our little boys, who put a smile on our faces every day, that we wanted to have the opportunity to be able to put a smile on other children’s faces that are not so fortunate. 

“We thought one way of doing this was to donate toys so that other children could open something at Christmas too. A few other parents at school also wished to support us. 

“We decided to make it an annual thing and named it Raheel’s Christmas Wish after one of the boys’ friends who we sadly lost last year.”

The family, who also donated to the children of Wolverhampton last year, got in touch with their social worker at Adoption@Heart to see how they could coordinate the donation. Three other families also decided to get involved, providing sackfuls of presents for children across Wolverhampton.

The gifts have been donated to Graiseley Family Hub for distribution to children in need in Wolverhampton this Christmas. The Hub provides support and activities for families with children aged from birth to 18, including parenting, housing, benefits, training and employment.

Councillor Chris Burden, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “I am moved by this act of kindness at Christmas time which will make all the difference to our children in need across Wolverhampton.

“It is wonderful to hear that the family and their friends want to give something back to the services that are helping our children, and all in memory of their friend Raheel which makes it even more special. 

“I would like to take this opportunity to send them a heartfelt thank you from all at our Strengthening Families Service which works with many families throughout the year.”

The family decided to start their adoption journey 10 years ago after being unable to have children. The mother said: “The adoption process was smooth, and we never really had any issues.

“We adopted our eldest when he was 8 months old, and never planned on having a second child. However, as he got older, we could see when we took him out, he would be playing on his own.

“We then decided on a sibling for him, and his brother joined our family when he was 7 months old. They together are so close, and absolutely love each other to bits. It’s the best thing we ever did, giving us our perfect family.”

Adoption@Heart is the Regional Adoption Agency for the Black Country, providing adoption services for City of Wolverhampton Council, Walsall Council, Dudley Council and Sandwell Children’s Trust.

Lots of people can adopt, whether they are single, living together, married, a same sex couple, in employment or not working, or already have children or not. Potential adopters must legally be a UK resident and have been so for at least 12 months, as well as being aged 21 or over. They should be able to provide a stable home for a child until adulthood and beyond.

Adoption@Heart holds information events every fortnight. They are the perfect place for those who are ready to start their adoption journey or would like more information. Details of future events are available at Adoption@Heart. For further information, call 01902 553818 or email