More toys needed to cheer up hundreds of under-privileged Ribble Valley children

Elizabeth Smith and Brenda Wise from The Salvation Army
Elizabeth Smith and Brenda Wise from The Salvation Army

The number of poor children requiring help continues to rise which means even more toys and gifts, particularly for older children, is needed for this year's Christmas toy appeal.

The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times and the Ribble Valley branch of the Salvation Army have teamed up to launch the annual appeal to help families and children who might otherwise go without this Christmas. For the 16th year running, the generosity of Valley residents is once again being called upon to help families less fortunate than themselves.

Although the toy appeal was launched two weeks ago and generous local people are donating toys and gifts, Capt Elizabeth Smith, of the Salvation Army, said the number of deprived children on the waiting list continues to rise and there is a shortage of donations for older children.

She said: "Thank you to all those who have donated toys this week. Our need, as ever, is items for nine to 14-year-old girls and boys. Our list is still growing, so please keep the toys coming. We are very grateful for your generosity."

The premise of the appeal is that presents for any age of child or teenager can be donated, as long as they are new. The items will be distributed to families across the Ribble Valley, with the aim that each child receives a main gift, a craft item or game, a soft toy and a book.

Toys and donations can be dropped off at the Skipton Building Society in Market Place, Clitheroe, or at the new Salvation Army charity shop building (the former job centre site) on Lowergate in the town from Monday to Saturday between 10am and 3pm.

Captain Elizabeth is also reminding people – of all ages – about the Christmas Day lunch.

She said: “We will be holding a lunch for people any age who may find Christmas a lonely time. This invitation is open to anyone, old or young male or female, single mums with children. If Christmas Day is a hard to get through, come and join us for good food, a friendly atmosphere, some entertainment, and a goody bag to take home. We open at 11-30am and finish around 3pm.”

Please ring Elizabeth on 07709 351394 to submit names. A telephone number and address is required to arrange transport.”