Telegraph gift appeal: You’ve done magnificently!

Mother Christmas Jeanette Walsh with editor of the Northants Telegraph Neil Pickford and the gifts collected for the annual toy appeal
Mother Christmas Jeanette Walsh with editor of the Northants Telegraph Neil Pickford and the gifts collected for the annual toy appeal

Telegraph readers have shown their generosity by forking out for hundreds of presents to help struggling people in the county enjoy their Christmas.

The newspaper’s annual gift appeal finished last week, with the donations having now been handed over to council support workers who will find them a suitable home.

They will give them out to parents who cannot otherwise afford to get their youngsters anything for Christmas, allowing the family to experience the excitement of unwrapping toys and games on Christmas Day.

The appeal was run in the Northants Telegraph, with collection points at Corby Cube and Wellingborough Museum for people to drop off games, toys, dolls, toy trains and a variety of other precious items for children of all ages.

Jeanette Walsh, who has reprised her role as Mother Christmas by again co-ordinating the appeal, said there were even more donations than last year.

More than 2,000 families in Corby, Kettering, Rushden, Wellingborough and the surrounding areas will benefit from the appeal.

Jeanette said: “A few weeks ago we weren’t sure how it was going to go, but this is brilliant. There are definitely more this year than there were last year.

“I am speechless, I am really speechless. People have really thought about what they want to give.

“This goes a heck of a long way towards making a difference.”

She said it meant that many households would not now have to choose between heating their homes, putting enough food on the table for the whole family or getting gifts for their youngsters.

And one of the family support workers who will help give out the presents to the families said people’s generosity would have a huge effect this Christmas on families who were struggling.

Bernie Rate said: “One of ours last year broke down in tears. She had a child who had just returned home and she didn’t have any funds to do it herself. She wasn’t expecting her child to get anything.

“It makes a huge difference. They are grateful for whatever they get and they are not expecting it.”

Northants Telegraph editor Neil Pickford paid tribute to the paper’s readers who had again made the appeal such a success.

He added: “The generosity of our readers has once again astounded me.

“Each and every one of these presents will hopefully put a smile on the face of a child this Christmas and we as the local newspaper are proud to be part of that. People really have gone out of their way to support this year’s appeal and we cannot thank you enough.”