Spread Christmas cheer with our annual toy appeal

Major Lorraine O'Neill and Doris Biggs launch the annual Christmas Toy Appeal.'Photo Ben Parsons

Major Lorraine O'Neill and Doris Biggs launch the annual Christmas Toy Appeal.'Photo Ben Parsons

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MERRY Christmas everyone!

We have launched the annual Burnley Express and Salvation Army Christmas Toy Appeal when we ask all our generous readers to pop an extra present on their gift list to bring a smile to the faces of needy youngsters in the borough.

Running for over 15 years, the appeal is always a huge success and this year we want it to be even bigger and better than ever.

Last year we collected more than 1,500 gifts that helped to brighten up the faces of 600 children on Christmas morning.

Gifts are required for babies up to boys and girls aged 16. And while younger children are easy to buy for, teenagers, especially boys, can be tricky. Gadgety type gifts, games, books and toiletry gift sets are ideal for teenage boys.

We have already kickstarted the teenage gifts with a generous donation of books from London based Bloomsbury Children’s Books. They have sent a a consignment of the brand new novels “Footloose” based on the smash hit film and “Battle Fatigue” about a teen boy who goes to war in Vietnam.

Drop off points for the toys and gifts are the Express office in Bull Street during office hours, the town’s Asda store and Costa Coffee cafe, in Tesco.

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 bags please. The collection and distribution of the toys is spearheaded by Maj. Lorraine O’Neill of Burnley Salvation Army who will liaise with agencies in town who work with needy families as anyone requiring help needs to be referred by one of these agencies. Agencies who have families they want to help are asked to contact Maj.O’Neill as soon as possible on 01282 415840.

Maj. O’Neill said: “Every year the people of Burnley and Padiham never fail to let us down and we hope this year is no exception. The toy appeal makes such a difference to so many children, let’s make Christmas Day special for them.”

The Salvation Army is to host a Community Advent Toy Service at the Salvation Army headquarters in Richard Street, Burnley, on Sunday, November 26th, at 10-30 a.m. and toys can be given in then.