The Chron's Christmas Toy Appeal gets off to a flying start - all thanks to you

From left, All Saints Bistro manageress Theresa McDowell, Jeanette Walsh and Chron content editor Paul Lynch.
From left, All Saints Bistro manageress Theresa McDowell, Jeanette Walsh and Chron content editor Paul Lynch.

Generous readers have helped get our Christmas appeal off to a fantastic start here in Northampton.

Last Thursday we asked you – our readers - to help us by donating new toys and gifts appropriate for young people who would otherwise go without a present this year.

Our Christmas appeal is going great guns so far, but we are hoping to get as many donations as possible.

Our Christmas appeal is going great guns so far, but we are hoping to get as many donations as possible.

And the reaction so far has been outstanding.

Dozens of items have already been dropped off at All Saints Bistro in the town centre - all of which will go to families in the town who cannot afford to share gifts on Christmas Day.

Manageress of the cafe, Theresa McDowell, said: "'I'm quite overwhelmed by it all really.

"I just hope people keep bringing them in.

Members of the Northampton Lions hand over toys to our appeal at All Saints Bistro.

Members of the Northampton Lions hand over toys to our appeal at All Saints Bistro.

"Some people have come back with more gifts - or told their colleagues at work about it."

The staff at the All Saints Bistro cafe at the front of the church will be happy to take your gifts right up until 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 appeal with is mum-of-two Jeanette Walsh, 60, who grew up in a childrens’ home herself and has been running similar schemes across the county since 2002.

The former carer - also known affectionately as Mother Christmas for her work - 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.

Among the many people to boost our appeal this week - were the members of charitable group Northampton Lions.

They kindly took £250 form their coffers to spend on new toys before delivering them to All Saints Bistro.

Fundraiser for the group Paul Toone, said: "I just thought it was so sad to see that some of the children in Northampton don't actually get anything at Christmas for various reasons."

For more information about our appeal, call the newsroom on 01604 467034, or email editor@northantsnews.co.uk.