Mother Christmas thanks Northamptonshire's generous readers for 'best ever' £17,500 toy appeal

Readers like you raised a record setting amount to help Northamptonshire's disadvantaged families.

Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 5:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 5:54 pm
'Mother Christmas' Jeanette Walsh says this year's toy appeal was the best ever for the county.

Not even the stress of a pandemic could stop Northamptonshire's generous readers from making a difference in disadvantaged children's lives this Christmas.

In November, the Chronicle & Echo, Northants Telegraph and Daventry Express asked readers like you to help 'Mother Christmas' Jeanette Walsh with her annual toy appeal.

And you did not disappoint.

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The results are in - and together, Northamptonshire raised more than £17,500 to buy presents for the county's disadvantaged children, families and young people.

Now, Jeanette - who has been running for toy appeal for nearly two decades - has praised the county's efforts as "the best year ever" for the toy appeal after teaming up with Wellingborough's Faraway Children's Charity to launch an online fundraiser.

In a thank you letter, Jeanette said: "I write to say a very BIG and sincere Thank You to all my little Christmas Helpers based in and around Northamptonshire, who have very generously offered their time, practical assistance and/or financial support in contributing to this year’s Christmas Appeal.

"On behalf of the children, families and young people living in our county, ‘Thank you’."

The announcement has also come with a heap of thank you letters from the county's social workers who have written to say how this year's appeal made a difference in their disadvantaged families' lives.

They tell story after story of how this year's donations made the big day that much more special for Northamptonshire's families on the breadline.

One reads: "I’m working with a family with eight kids. Mum is unwell and the two older teenage girls do a lot of caring for their siblings and cleaning and washing.

"They were very excited to get their gifts, and I was really pleased to be able to give them high end make-up and toiletries, to spoil them a little bit as they truly deserve it."

Another says: "I am working with a homeless family in temporary accommodation after escaping from violence. There are four young children with ADHD and Autism.

"Mum was panicking because she has a lot of debts, and had no money for food or gifts this Christmas. It was lovely to see her face when I dropped round a bagful of presents for the kids, and it was fun trying to distract the children so they didn’t see the presents so mum could wrap them up.

"She literally has nothing, so your gifts are all that those kids will get."

Another reads: "I also had feedback from a mum who was struggling financially with COVID, losing her job, struggling with bills and support for her son for Christmas, he got a football and loves playing with and had a big smile.

"The mother was very happy with the support provided with gifts at such a difficult year. Thank you."