Picture: (Left to right) Laurence Sandman and Bill Osborne (Salvation Army volunteers)
Over the festive period around 400 gifts were distributed to children who would have not otherwise had a present to open, across Ellesmere Port as part of The Salvation Army’s Christmas appeal and the church and charity would like to thank the community for its support.
Lieutenant Louise Brown, Church Leader at The Salvation Army’s Ellesmere Port Corps (church), said: “This year we made some changes to our annual Christmas appeal which meant families were able to come in and choose their own gifts. It’s been wonderful to meet the families and it’s given us the opportunity to spend time understanding the cause of their poverty and signposting them to services who could help.
“We understand that finances can be tight for everyone at Christmas and are incredibly grateful to everyone in this community who donated to our appeal. Every toy, no matter how much it cost, went to a family who would have otherwise had nothing to open. This year it was such a privilege to meet nearly 50 of these families and I couldn’t fail to be touched by the experience. To be able to give their children a present they had chosen themselves clearly had a transformative effect in many cases.”
Local businesses and organisations worked together to collect toys for this year’s appeal which were distributed to some of the most vulnerable local families through a number of community agencies including social care providers, health visitors, children’s centres, and shelters for young people experiencing homelessness. The families who visited the corps directly to select their presents were referred through these agencies.
Lt. Louise, continued: “As well as supporting local families our Christmas appeal enabled us to host lunch for nearly 60 people on Christmas Day for those who would otherwise have been on their own. Each person who came was given a gift to open. We were delighted to welcome new volunteers this year. Thank you so much to everyone who donated anything including their time.”
Throughout the year The Salvation Army in Ellesmere Port provides support to local people. To find out more visit their website.