Festive launch for annual Christmas toy appeal

Pictured at the launch of the Christmas Toy Appeal are (left to right) reporter Jack Marshall with  volunteers at the Salvation Army shop in Burnley, Rachel Lee, Tammy Porton,  Captain Maisie Veacock, Andrea Harrison and Tracey Lee

Pictured at the launch of the Christmas Toy Appeal are (left to right) reporter Jack Marshall with volunteers at the Salvation Army shop in Burnley, Rachel Lee, Tammy Porton, Captain Maisie Veacock, Andrea Harrison and Tracey Lee

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Today marks the launch of the annual Salvation Army and Burnley Express Christmas Toy Appeal.

Once again generous residents in the town are being asked to get into the Christmas spirit and pop an extra present on their list that will be distributed to families who may struggle to provide gifts during the festive season.

And with just five weeks to go before the big day the countdown to the festive season is already underway.

Toys and gifts, for babies and children up to 16, are needed. Gifts large and small are welcome to help make Christmas morning special for hundreds of children across the borough.

Every year the residents of Burnley and Padiham show tremendous support for the appeal, donating hundreds of wonderful toys.

And Capt. Maisie Veacock of the Salvation Army has this year made a special appeal for items for boys aged nine to 10 and also gifts suitable for teenagers such as hat and scarf sets, books, make up and toiletry gift sets.

She said: “The generosity of the people of Burnley and Padiham is amazing and very touching because it makes such a difference to so many children on Christmas morning.

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who donates to the appeal, especially when times are hard for a lot of families.

“We are also grateful to everyone who acts as a collection point for the appeal. This year collection points are quite spread out, making it easier and more accessible for people to drop items off.”

Selection boxes are also welcome but electrical items, DVDS, items requiring batteries and toy weapons are not suitable.

Donations of large bin bags are also welcome but donated gifts should be left unwrapped. All items must be brand new.

Drop off points for the toys include the Burnley Express office at our new home at Business First on the Empire Business Park in Liverpool Road, the Salvation Army shop and Lloyds bank in Burnley town centre, Costa Coffee inside Tesco, Centenary Way and Asda in Princess Way, Burnley.

Items can also be taken to the Salvation Army citadel in Richard Street between 10am and 3pm. The appeal runs until Friday, December 16th.

The toys are distributed through different agencies in the borough and families wishing for toys must be referred through an agency.

Agencies wanting to get involved are asked to contact Capt. Veacock as soon as possible so they can be included in this year’s appeal on 01282 415840.

Last year 550 children in 200 families woke up on Christmas morning to toys that had been donated through the appeal.