Christmas gift support in high demand for Southport families
published on 12 Dec 2022
More than 200 Southport families have been referred to one charity for Christmas present support for their children as the cost of living crisis continues to bite.
The Salvation Army in Southport runs an annual Christmas Present Appeal which calls on members of the local community to add an extra gift to their shopping list for a child that otherwise wouldn’t have anything to open on Christmas Day and has so far seen over 200 families referred for support.
As more families are being pushed into poverty amid the cost of living crisis, the church and charity, located on Shakespeare Street, is in the process of sorting and distributing the donations its received to children and families in the area in time for Christmas Day.
The distribution process takes place through The Salvation Army’s own networks; local charities, schools and social services and Captain Alison Hutchings, church leader of The Salvation Army in Southport, is expecting the number of referrals to continue to grow as Christmas Day gets closer. She said: “Christmas is usually a time of joy but with the ongoing cost of living crisis and adding to that the continued rise in the prices of energy, we’re seeing a large amount of people needing urgent, last-minute support as Christmas Day gets closer and the prospect of their child having no presents to open sadly a reality.
“In the challenging times that everyone is facing, we have witnessed the incredible generosity of our local community and have welcomed a wide range of gift donations. No parent wants their child to go without on Christmas Day and these donations will ensure that children throughout our town have a Christmas to remember. Everyone coming together to support those struggling in our community is what the Christmas story inspires us to do, and we are pleased to be a part of that.”
A typical gift sack for each child includes three gifts, which comprises of two toys and either a game or puzzle, and also features a book, a craft item and a selection of stocking fillers. For teenagers a gift sack includes toiletries and a gift voucher.
As the donation phase of the appeal has come to an end and packages have started to be collated, it has been identified that there is a shortage in gifts for children aged 8 years old to 12 years old. For anyone wishing to donate gifts for this age bracket, donations can be dropped off at the church and community centre within the town until Thursday, December 15.
Of the 200 families that have already been referred for help, more than 450 children will have gifts to open thanks to The Salvation Army’s Christmas Present Appeal and donations from the local community including many businesses, churches, schools and independent retailers.