Let's make it the best Christmas ever for disadvantaged children in Northamptonshire

For nearly 20 years this paper has supported children in the greatest need in the county by asking readers generously to donate toys and gifts.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 5:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 8:53 am

A fortnight ago we launched our Christmas gift appeal and after last year's success of collecting donations online, this year we reopened a donation page as well as returning to collecting gifts.

As in previous years you, the generous readers of this newspaper and residents of our county, have not let us down as donations of gifts and money have been pouring in.

Presents for disadvantaged children are being dropped off in their hundreds and online donations have topped the £735 mark from people who want to pledge money.

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Jeanette Walsh - Mother Christmas - with the toys that will go to children in need across the county

The money you generously give and all the gifts donated will then be used by 'Mother Christmas', retired social worker Jeanette Walsh on behalf of Northamptonshire' s social services team, to buy presents and gifts for about 5,000 disadvantaged children across the whole of the county.

Jeanette said: "We've had loads of gifts donated already so thank you to everyone who has given presents or pledged money. The appeal is all about the children having something they wouldn't have unless it was donated. I always say it's local for local.

"Everything donated will go to children and young people in this county to help them have a magical Christmas.

"There's tough times ahead so if people could support in anyway with any amount or give a new gift it will make such a difference - every little helps."

Mother Christmas - Jeanette Walsh with staff from Nando's Kettering Leah, Jade, Marcella, Nisha and Lewis

Jeanette, who grew up in care homes, has dedicated her whole life to improving disadvantaged children's lives.

She said: "The kids didn't ask to be in the position they find themselves but donations can make a real difference.

"Let's make it the best Christmas ever for the children most in need and let's put a smile on their faces."

The Northants Telegraph, the Northampton Chronicle and Echo and the Daventry Express have once again teamed up with Northamptonshire-based Faraway Children's Charity to set up an online fundraising page where you can donate an amount of your choice.

But as well as cash donations, thanks to the kind-hearted staff of Nando's stores across Northamptonshire, volunteers at Wellingborough Museum, and staff at One Angel Square - West Northants Council's offices - brand new unwrapped toys can also be donated in-person again.

Dan Curtis, manager of Nando's in Kettering, has been helping gather in the gifts.

He said: "We are getting lots of support from customers and businesses. People can drop off gifts with us anytime. We have a box ready for donations.

"We are very proud of Jeanette and all that she does and we want to support her and we will do anything we can to help her. She does good."

Staff from Nando's in George Street in Corby, Carina Rd in Kettering, Rushden Lakes Shopping Centre and Wood Hill in Northampton town centre are also accepting gifts, as are volunteers at Wellingborough Museum, as well as reception staff at One Angel Square in Northampton.

The online fundraising page remains open until the end of December but Mother Christmas Jeanette, who also works for Nando's in Kettering as a greeter, will be busy using the money to buy special gifts for children as soon as possible.

To donate please go to the Just Giving Link by clicking HERE or drop off your new unwrapped gifts to any Nando's restaurant in Northamptonshire or Wellingborough Museum or at One Angel Square during opening hours.

• Corby Nando's George St, Corby NN17 1QG

• Kettering Nando's Carina Rd, Kettering NN15 6YA

• Northampton Nando's 3 Wood Hill, Northampton NN1 2DA

• Rushden Lakes Shopping Centre Nando's, Rushden NN10 6FT

• Wellingborough The Wellingborough Museum Castle Way, Wellingborough NN8 1XB

• 1, Angel Square, Angel St, Northampton NN1 1ED