Thousands give the gift of Christmas as Ribble Valley Toy Appeal 2021 breaks records

Hundreds of children across the Ribble Valley are going to wake up on Christmas morning with huge smiles on their faces thanks to the kindness of local folk.

Monday, 20th December 2021, 12:30 pm

Big-hearted readers, organisations, local charities and businesses have gone all out to make 2021 even more special than previous years.

The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times and the Ribble Valley branch of the Salvation Army once again teamed up to launch their 18th annual appeal to help families and children who might otherwise go without this Christmas.

Last year around 500 children received brand-new toys on Christmas Day. This year's record-breaking effort has seen thousands of new toys, gifts and books donated for disadvantaged children who will now enjoy the joy of Christmas. The aim is for each child to receive a main gift, a craft item or game, a soft toy and a book.

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Captain Elizabeth Smith, of the Clitheroe Salvation Army bagging up the gifts donated

Appeal co-ordinator Captain Elizabeth Smith and Territorial Envoy Brenda Wise, of the Clitheroe Salvation Army, have been overwhelmed by the response from the Ribble Valley. They said: "A huge thank you to everyone who donated toys to our Toy Appeal 2021. We have had an awesome response from the public. We are humbled by the variety and quality of the gifts that have come pouring in. Once again the Ribble Valley have shown their care for those within our community who are in need of help and support.

"We cannot thank you enough on behalf of those who have benefitted from your kindness. We have had messages from relieved parents saying how grateful they are for now being able to give their children a very happy Christmas."

She added: "The Toy Appeal is not yet finalised as we are still receiving referrals from agencies so I am unable to give a final figure, but it's definitely in excess of last year's figures. Thank you also for the donations we have had to help us buy toys to fill in the age gaps, and also to provide for the Christmas Dinner for people who would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day. "We are so grateful for your generosity. To all who have given in any way, we thank you for sharing in our work. We could not do what we do without your help. God bless you all and may Christmas bring as much joy to you as you have given to others."

She went onto say: "We wish to thank the Editor of The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times, and journalist Faiza Afzaal for so willingly offering us news space and for promoting our appeal. We are very appreciative of your support."