Merry Christmas guaranteed for Northants children after record-breaking toy appeal

Residents have been donating gifts in their thousands which have been donated to children in the most need

By Alison Bagley
Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 6:00 am
Jeanette Walsh aka Mother Christmas centre with just some of the people helping to bring festive cheer to disadvantaged children across Northamptonshire
Jeanette Walsh aka Mother Christmas centre with just some of the people helping to bring festive cheer to disadvantaged children across Northamptonshire

Mother Christmas has done it again, sharing the true spirit of Christmas with gifts of love donated by strangers to children in the most need the length and breadth of the county.

Donations from towns and villages in Northamptonshire have been pouring in to the annual toy appeal organised by our own Mother Christmas - Jeanette Walsh.

Thanks to the kind-hearted readers of this paper and the generosity of residents and businesses across the county more than 5,000 of the most deprived children will be having a very merry Christmas.

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Jeanette said: "I have been amazed by this year's donations. I honestly think it's been the best year ever. I cannot thank the people who have donated and helped.

"Thank you so much to everyone who has donated anything - gifts or money - whether it's hundreds of pounds or a bike or just a small gift and pocket money.

"Every single donation has been given with love and received with gratitude. The children will be able to have a much happier Christmas thanks to you."

Donations have been handed in at restaurants, offices, churches, sports clubs, schools and even a museum, with former social worker Jeanette passing on the gifts to social work teams across the main towns for distribution.

Supporting the appeal have been staff at Nando's outlets in Corby, Kettering, Rushden Lakes and Northampton, and volunteers at Wellingborough Museum.

Hundreds of gifts including bikes, pyjamas, toiletries, books, games and toys have been handed over and passed on to Jeanette for distribution to social work teams who cover the whole of Northamptonshire helping the most disadvantaged children.

Jeanette said: "People have been bringing in sackfuls of gifts. I have been able to help so many families. Without your help children would not have something to call their own."

Mother Christmas has been using the cash donations from the Just Giving campaign to bolster supplies of gifts for teenagers and has even provided festive food parcels.

So far more than £2,700 has been raised by the online appeal with donations being taken until New Year's Eve. Any extra money will be used to help care leavers.

She added: "The support this year has been overwhelming. People in Northamptonshire are just incredible. Thank you and happy Christmas."

Editor of the Northants Telegraph, Northampton Chronicle & Echo and Daventry Express David Summers said: "The generosity of our readers never ceases to amaze us when the time comes to give to our toy appeal. Showing kindness towards others less fortunate than yourself is very much part of the spirit of Christmas and you've done just that, many times over. Our most sincere thanks to you all."

We would like to thank everyone who has donated including: Sunitosh Jiven and her friends and NHS colleagues, Shoosmiths, Travis Perkins and Northampton Saints RFC, Hunsbury Homes Cleaning Co, Nando’s, Salvation Army Northampton, Salvation Army Kettering, Wellingborough Museum, Shirefit Corby, Cheryl Coglin, Farrington Oils, Hope Methodist Church Rushden, Bridgewater School, Waitrose, Friends of Earls Barton, Barclays, Northants Police, Andrea Hodson, the trading standards team, St Laurence Church, Stanwick, Rothwell Methodist Church, Nationwide, iPSL, Parklands Primary School, Simply Gym Kettering, Sophie Berkshire, Mark Stafford, Frances Harvey, Cheryl Short, Vanessa, Kirsten, Martin and Sue Buckby, Alan and Carole Miles, Linda Boyle, Jose Dobson, Howes Percival, Jane and Graham Fletcher, Hayley and Merin.

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