Can you help make Christmas magical for hundreds of children this year?

Pictured at the launch to this year's Christmas Toy Appeal at the Salvation Army citadel in Burnley are (back, left to right)   Janet Raven, Jean Steele, Cpt Maisie Veacock, Major Ann Silcock, Christine Hunt and (front) Burnley Express reporter Sue Plunkett.
Pictured at the launch to this year's Christmas Toy Appeal at the Salvation Army citadel in Burnley are (back, left to right) Janet Raven, Jean Steele, Cpt Maisie Veacock, Major Ann Silcock, Christine Hunt and (front) Burnley Express reporter Sue Plunkett.

Are you starting your Christmas shopping today?

The countdown is on to the big day and with Christmas just four weeks away we are hoping that the generous people of Burnley and Padiham will get into the festive spirit and pop an extra gift on their list for our festive Toy Appeal.

Run by the Salvation Army the appeal is always a huge success with our readers donating bags full of toys, gifts and goodies for children whose families may be be struggling at this time of year.

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.

Last Christmas 600 children in 150 families woke to presents under the tree donated through the appeal.

Capt. Maisie Veacock of the Salvation Army has this year made a special appeal for items for babies and teenagers. Cash cannot be accepted but gift vouchers are welcome.

She said: “The generosity of people 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.”

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 and must be brand new.

Drop off points include the Burnley Express office 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 toys are distributed through agencies in the borough and families wishing for toys must be referred through an agency.