Back our Christmas toy appeal by donating gifts to desperate families

From left, manageress of All Saints Bistro, Theresa McDowell, our Christmas campaign co-ordinator Jeanette Walsh and the Chronicle & Echos content editor Paul Lynch.
From left, manageress of All Saints Bistro, Theresa McDowell, our Christmas campaign co-ordinator Jeanette Walsh and the Chronicle & Echos content editor Paul Lynch.

For the luckiest among us, Christmas is the most  wonderful time of the year.

But to the thousands of families living on the breadline in the county, the festive season can be tough.

You can help by donating new toys and gifts to the All Saints Bistro until December 17.

You can help by donating new toys and gifts to the All Saints Bistro until December 17.

In around four weeks’ time hundreds of parents will have to tell their young children that they cannot provide them with a single gift on Christmas Day.

That is why, this year, The Chronicle & Echo is hoping to spread a little generosity to people in our town.

Today we are launching our Christmas Toy Appeal in the hope that dozens of youngsters who would normally go without a present this year, get a little something to unwrap on December 25.

We are asking you – our readers - to help us by donating new toys and gifts appropriate for children and teenagers to our selected drop-off point in the town centre.

The staff at the All Saints Church cafe at the front of the building will be happy to take your gifts between now and Monday, December 17.

The items will then be collected by Northamptonshire County Council’s social services team, who will give them to children across the Northampton borough area from desperately poor families.

Co-ordinating the campaign with the Chron is former social worker Jeanette Walsh, AKA Mother Christmas, who has been running a similar scheme across the county since 2002, helping more than 10,000 families.

She said she was excited about the prospect of bringing the appeal to Northampton.

“When you have nothing, to get something for Christmas, I can’t describe the difference it makes,” she said.

“Some of the parents we help are in tears because they can’t believe anyone could be kind enough to donate.”

Mum-of-two Jeanette, 60, who grew up in a childrens’ home, said she is looking for new toys appropriate for children, as well as things like toiletry giftsets for teenagers, vouchers, DVDs, socks, gloves and hats.

The main rule is that the gifts have to be new and unwrapped. They can be dropped off in the cafe of All Saints Church between 8.30am and 5pm from Monday to Saturday and between 9am and 4pm on a Sunday.