Gift appeal: Readers bring festive cheer to youngsters

Toy Appeal :Kettering: Northants Telegraph and Connect FM annual Christmas toy appeal 'Neil Pickford (Editor) and  Coordinator Jeanette Walsh  with some of the toys 'Monday 16th December 2013
Toy Appeal :Kettering: Northants Telegraph and Connect FM annual Christmas toy appeal 'Neil Pickford (Editor) and Coordinator Jeanette Walsh with some of the toys 'Monday 16th December 2013
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Once again, Telegraph readers have proved their generosity by donating hundreds of gifts to our annual toy appeal.

The Telegraph teamed up with radio station Connect FM to try to help make sure vulnerable children had a present to unwrap on Christmas Day.

Co-ordinator Jeanette Walsh with some of the toys

Co-ordinator Jeanette Walsh with some of the toys

The gifts, which included dozens of cuddly toys, books, games, scooters and even a guitar, will now be given to youngsters from Kettering, Corby, Wellingborough and Rushden living in care.

Jeanette Walsh, from the council’s children and young people’s services, who assumed her alter-ego Mother Christmas on Monday when the presents were being distributed from the William Knibb Centre in Kettering, said she was once again delighted with the response from Telegraph readers.

She added: “Every year I’m surprised by how generous people are.

“It’s not just the number of gifts we receive, it’s the quality of the items people donate – some people go to an awful lot of trouble and spend a lot of money.”

This year, the appeal also received a helping hand from students at the Kettering Buccleuch Academy, who collected a number of toys and dropped them off at the William Knibb Centre on Monday.

Jeanette, who has been co-ordinating the appeal for more than a decade, said the toys would be passed on to families across the area.

She added: “The gifts can make such a difference to a child as it may be the only present they receive this year.

“I grew up in care myself and had similar gifts given to me when I was young, so I know exactly what a difference it can make.

“It was that generosity which made me want to set up the appeal.”

Telegraph editor Neil Pickford said: “Every year when the Telegraph launches its gift appeal, in conjunction with our friends at Connect FM, we wonder whether the appeal will be as well supported as in previous years.

“And every year, we are stunned by the generosiity of our readers and the radio station’s listeners.

“The gifts donated this December will put smiles on the faces of children who may otherwise get nothing at Christmas. For that kindness, we thank you.”