Fire service help present pack for children across Blackpool
published on 14 Dec 2022
Fire service supports The Salvation Army with present packing for children across Blackpool
A team of fire fighters were on hand to support The Salvation Army with present packing for families needing extra support this festive season.
Fire fighters of the Forest Gate Fire Station in Blackpool gave up their time to volunteer at The Salvation Army in Blackpool, located on Raikes Parade, to sort and pack presents for over 2,000 children referred to the church and charity for help, as more families slip into poverty as the cost of living crisis continues.
The annual Christmas Present Appeal 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. So far more than 2,100 children have been referred for support.
The team of fire fighters helped sort and pack presents in order to meet the needs of the local community, which Captain Naomi Clifton, church leader of The Salvation Army in Blackpool, says is greater than ever this year. She said: “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.
“This year, we have already received an unprecedented number of referrals and the help that the fire fighters give to us, donating their time and energy, along with the staff of local businesses, our church members and year-round volunteers, will ensure that we have a smooth process and that every referral package is age-appropriate, and created with love.”
A typical gift parcel for each child includes one large gift, chocolates or biscuits and a selection of stocking fillers.
Captain Naomi added: “We simply couldn’t do the work without our volunteers and everyone coming together to support those struggling in our community. This is what the Christmas story inspires us to do, and we are pleased to be a part of that.”
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 7 years old to 12 years old. For anyone wishing to donate gifts for this age bracket, donations of new and unwrapped toys can be dropped off at the church and community centre within the town until Christmas Eve.
Financial donations can also be made at www.justgiving.com/page/blackpooltoyappeal2022 and The Salvation Army in Blackpool will use the funds to purchase the items that they are short of. Every donation is appreciated, but people are encouraged to donate only what they can afford.