Church leader takes on 24hr danceathon in festive fundraiser
published on 21 Nov 2022
Church leader takes on 24 hour danceathon to raise funds ensuring no child goes without a gift on Christmas Day
A Salvation Army officer has taken on a 24 hour danceathon to raise money for the church and charity’s Christmas Present Appeal.
Major Estelle Blake, 54, converted the church hall at The Salvation Army in Oldham Fitton Hill, located in The Brew café on Fir Tree Precinct, into a dancefloor and took on the challenge to dance for 24 hours.
The challenge was created in order to raise money for the church and charity’s annual Christmas Present Appeal which works to ensure that no child wakes up without a present on Christmas Day through community donations of new and unwrapped toys.
Major Estelle said: “We decided we wanted to support the community in a big way this year as the cost of living crisis is affecting everyone; bigger waves of people than we have ever seen before. With the cost of living and energy prices still spiralling out of control, we’re expecting toy and gift donations to be down this year, but the need for our support to be greater than ever before.
“Everyone is going through a tough time, and we just wanted to make sure that Christmas could definitely happen for children within our community. Our Christmas Present Appeal has been running for a number of years and the local community is always so generous, but everyone is struggling and in previous years when they could give, perhaps this year, for many, that isn’t possible so fundraising seemed like the best way that we could ensure that our Christmas Present Appeal was still a success.”
With the rules set that Major Estelle could stop every three hours for a 15 minute break, she was joined throughout the 24 hours by various people including the groups that use the church and community centre on a weekly basis. Childminders Toddler Group, the youth club, Dad’s Group and Stay and Play baby group all took part in the challenge which had raised over £500 within the first few hours.
Major Estelle added: “We wanted to do something that was fun, contributes to both good physical and mental health and that was a little bit different! Everyone that took part were overwhelmed with the amount that was raised and we want to thank everyone for helping make children’s Christmases that little bit brighter.”
Donations are still being accepted for those that wish to contribute to the Christmas Present Appeal financially and a Just Giving page has been set up; www.justgiving.com/oldham-fitton-hill-the-salvation-army1 and whilst all donations are welcome, people are encouraged to donate only what they can afford.
The Christmas Present Appeal also accepts donations of new and unwrapped gifts for children and young adults; newborn to 18 years old, and can be dropped off directly at The Salvation Army in Oldham Fitton Hill.