Help our Christmas Toy Appeal!

Major Lorraine O'Neill is pictured with Mary Ibbotson and Jean Steele at The Salvation Army for the toy appeal. G271111/2

Major Lorraine O'Neill is pictured with Mary Ibbotson and Jean Steele at The Salvation Army for the toy appeal. G271111/2

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THE spirit of Christmas was well and truly alive at a special Toy Service on Sunday.

Dozens of families gathered to pray and donate gifts at the annual service, held to support the Burnley Express and Salvation Army Toy Appeal.

Held at the Salvation Army Citadel in Richard Street, Burnley, the service was led by Maj. Lorraine O’Neill who thanked everyone for their generosity.

She said: “As a gesture of thanks to everyone who gave toys, we handed out little gift boxes that can be hung on Christmas trees. It will be a reminder over the festive period for the kind deed they have done.”

Toys and gifts are flooding in for the appeal at drop-off points which are here at the Express offices in Bull Street, the town’s Asda store and Costa Coffee in Tesco. And this week Accrington’s Matalan store joined the campaign after a plea from customers who wanted to help with the appeal.

Store manager Mrs Sue Connor said: “Many of our customers read the Express and asked if there was anything we could do to help the campaign. We are more than happy to support the toy appeal.”

And while the gifts are flowing in, Maj. O’Neill has appealed for agencies who work with needy families to contact her with their lists of those requiring gifts.

Maj. O’Neill said: “Families need to be referred by the agencies and I would urge any agencies who haven’t been in touch to contact me as soon as possible as time is marching on.” Agencies can contact Lorraine at the Salvation Army on 01282 415840.

If you wish to donate to the appeal, gifts are required for babies up to boys and girls aged 16. We will not be accepting used or second hand items and wrapping paper is not required but we would like selection boxes and large black bin bags please. The appeal runs until Friday, December 16th.