The Rochdale Giving Back Christmas Toy Appeal has been hailed a success as 1,900 less fortunate children had gifts to open on December 25.
Residents and businesses donated more than 6,000 toys and gifts which were sorted and delivered to local homes last month.
Councillor Rachel Massey said: “A huge thank you to everyone who donated. In what has been another hard year for many this has really brought a smile to so many children in need and shown us once again there is still such a strong community spirit and unbelievable kindness in our borough. To see the huge piles of gifts was very moving and I am grateful that so many people took the time to help.”
Helen Walton, from the council’s staff charity Rochdale Giving Back, who runs the appeal and was recognised in the New Year’s honours list this month with a British Empire Medal added: “As well as individual donations we saw many new businesses coming forward and I know families who pooled funds and went on shopping sprees and workplaces who abandoned their Secret Santa to become the ultimate Secret Santa for children. I also thank our volunteers who gave up their time to collect, sort and distribute everything.”
Cardinal Langley School pupils Oliver and Lucy (pictured with Helen Walton) collected more than 80 toys and donations, asking people to bring gifts in to their mum’s salon, R & R Therapy in Middleton.
Since 2013 the appeal has provided festive cheer for thousands of children and teenagers. It is organised by the council’s staff charity in partnership with Rochdale Football Club, Rochdale Riverside and Your Trust.
Businesses and other organisations that helped included A&F Sprinklers, AIG Insurance, The Beach, B&M Bargains, Cherry Tree Café, Circle Healthcare, Danish Crown, Globe House, Harrisons ICS, The Highfield Hospital, Hunter Price, JGM Agency, Littleborough Boxing Club, Lock 50, Miles Kelly Publishing, Rochdale Fire and Rescue Service, Rochdale Online, The Old Police Station, Railway House Nursery, The Retreat, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, Rochdale Sixth Form College, Signals IT Ltd, Triad Fabrications, Willow View School, Wilmott Dixon, Fairfield Hospital, The Works and RRG Toyota Rochdale.
Those interested in helping next year’s appeal can email [email protected]