A Christmas cracker of a toy appeal for over 600 youngsters

Salvation Army captain Maisie Veacock (right) with Burnley Express reporter Sue Plunkett and some of the gifts for the Christmas Toy Appeal.
Salvation Army captain Maisie Veacock (right) with Burnley Express reporter Sue Plunkett and some of the gifts for the Christmas Toy Appeal.

Happy Christmas to you all!

The generous people of Burnley and Padiham have shown they know the true meaning of Christmas by making the Burnley Express and Salvation Army Toy Appeal a cracker of a success.

Around 605 children in 150 families will be waking up to gifts under the tree on Christmas morning after hundreds of toys, gifts, books and selection boxes were donated to our appeal.

And it is all thanks to the loyal supporters of the appeal which helps to bring some Christmas cheer to families in need across the borough every year.

Captain Maisie Veacock of the Burnley Salvation Army, who is in charge of running the appeal, said: “This year we have received more requests for help but we have also been inundated with so many wonderful toys and gifts.

“I would like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who has supported the appeal because it makes such a difference.

“It is always a really busy time for us collecting and sorting the gifts but it so worth it to see the joy that these presents bring to these children.”

Special thanks also goes out to the kind hearted staff at the Simonstone based Department of Work and Pensions who donated several bags of toys including dolls, teddy bears, writing sets, games and books to the appeal.

The NSL parking management company also supported the appeal this year with a generous donation of gifts.

Other supporters of the appeal who acted as drop off points included Lloyds Bank in Burnley town centre, the town’s Asda store, Costa Coffee in the Burnley Tesco store, and Salvation Army citadel in Richard Street.

We asked for gifts for youngsters up to the age of 16 and thanks to our generous readers they rolled in by the sackful.

Reporter Sue Plunkett said: “Times are hard for everyone but when it comes to the toy appeal the generosity of people in Burnley and Padiham seems to know no bounds.

“They always rally to donate gifts and this year one gentleman came into the office with a huge bag filled with presents for boys and girls of all ages.

“It is the true Lancashire spirit of generosity that always shines through and has never let us down yet. Thank you so much to everyone who has made a donation.”

Families who benefit from the appeal are referred to the Salvation Army through a variety of agencies and volunteers makes sure each child receives something special to open on Christmas morning.