Christmas toy appeal organiser thanks Darlington residents for their generosity (From The Advertiser Series)
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Christmas toy appeal organiser thanks Darlington residents for their generosity
THE organiser of a toy appeal that aimed to ensure no child in Darlington went without presents at Christmas has praised the generosity of the people who donated.
The Salvation Army Toy Appeal, now in its tenth year, had its most successful collection ever, with more than £11,000 worth of toys and food parcels handed in by local people.
But Captain Colin Bradshaw, who led the appeal, has warned that serious poverty is on the increase in Darlington, with more than a third of the children who received donated gifts under the age of three.
In total, 336 children in Darlington, from babies to teenagers, were identified by Social Services as being a part of families who would not be able to afford to buy presents and treats at Christmas.
The generosity of people in the town meant each child received three new presents and a cuddly toy.
The number of children in need of help has risen sharply in the last year, up from the 198 children provided for in 2011.
As well as presents, the Salvation Army also put together food parcels for 185 families, up from 76 in 2011.
Captain Bradshaw said: “I would like to thank the churches, the organisations, The Northern Echo for publicising the appeal, and most of all the people of Darlington.
“We had so many toys that we were able to give each child three presents each – last year we helped fewer children but were only able to give them two presents, so that shows just how much the donations increased.
“This year has been the biggest demand for help ever in Darlington and a huge increase in one year. That makes me concerned for the future and what will happen next year.
“Social services deal with people who are at baseline poverty levels and for the number of people in need of help in Darlington to rise as fast as it has done it worrying.
“We work with social services to make sure the people that need help get it - it’s about making sure these children have a good Christmas and I can only thank those who helped.”