Mother Christmas thanks generous readers for 'best Christmas ever'

The annual toy appeal will smash £15,000 to help those in most need

By Alison Bagley
Thursday, 24th December 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 24th December 2020, 6:14 pm

More than 5,000 children will be having a much happier Christmas and a wonderful new year thanks to super-generous residents across the county.

Readers of the Northants Telegraph, Chronicle and Echo and Daventry Express have helped Mother Christmas, Jeanette Walsh, raise much-needed funds to continue her annual gift appeal.

Switching to an online giving page hosted by county-based The Faraway Children's Charity, donations are set to smash the £15,000 mark.

Jeanette - Mother Christmas - and helper Jessie with some of the gifts bought with the money raised by the online appeal

The funds have been spent on providing presents for more than 5,000 disadvantaged children and young people who would otherwise have no present to open on Christmas Day.

Mother Christmas Jeanette, who grew up in a children's home, has been organising the appeal since 2002.

She said: "This really has been the best Christmas appeal ever. I'm over the moon. I thought that we might have to cancel the whole appeal because of the pandemic. I couldn't see how we could do it, but it's just been absolutely incredible - fantastic."

Jeanette has been busier than Santa dashing to the shops to spend the amazing donations on bespoke toys and gifts to suit the children under the care of Northamptonshire County Council’s children’s services team.

Jeanette - Mother Christmas - with some of the gifts bought with the money raised by the online appeal

She has already handed over thousands of gifts, selection boxes and donated toys and games to the teams to wrap for the big day.

Editorial director David Summers said: "Our readers have never failed to support our annual toy appeal and this year you have come up trumps once again. In these very challenging times, your support has never been more needed. We wondered how the appeal would go this year given that we could not accept physical donations of toys, but the donations that have been given have been truly overwhelming and greater than we could possibly have hoped for. It just continues to show what a fantastic, and generous, county we live in."

More than £3,800 has been raised by the pupils of West Haddon Primary School on their trip to Lapland which will be added to the £10,768 on the Just Giving site and more than £2,000 in Gift Aid.

Jeanette added: "I can't thank the readers and the people of Northamptonshire enough. On behalf of the children who need it most I would like to wish you all a very, very merry Christmas and a fantastic new year."

Jeanette buying the presents

Jeanette would like to thank: the Northants Telegraph; the Chronicle & Echo; the Daventry Express; William's Brothers; OCS Group and Nick from Classic Cars; Northants Police; University of Northampton; Jiven Sunitosh; Smith's Farm Shop; Shoosmith's; 4 Spires Benefice; Northampton Saints and Travis Perkins; Waitrose - Kingsthorpe; Asda Corby; Asda Rushden; Maureen P; The Green Dragon, Higham Ferrers; Mason Kerly and FC Aztec; Friends of Earls Barton; ISPL; Shire Fit Natasha; DPD Milton Keynes; Helena Weedon, Jim Waddington; Tesco Wellingborough and Tesco Corby; Salvation Army in Northampton.

At Rushden Asda
Jeanette with the team from Classic Cars
Mason Kerly from Desborough
Jeanette has been buying gifts with the money donated across the county
West Haddon Primary School pupils
Gifts are delivered to the social work teams