Launch of the Northern Ireland Christmas Family Appeal

published on 18 Nov 2020

The First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland have lent their support to The Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul Christmas Family Appeal.

The appeal has been helping struggling families celebrate Christmas for 40 years and this year will once again support those most in need in our communities. The Family Appeal has benefited from the enormous generosity of the public who have donated thousands of toys in previous years. This Christmas, due to Covid-19, the general public are being encouraged to make a donation online at

Members of the public will still be able to donate toys at selected drop-off points across Northern Ireland. For details of these locations, visit

Christmas is a time of giving, of sharing and helping others and this has never been more important.
Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster

First Minister Arlene Foster said: “I am delighted to be able to help launch this year’s Family Appeal.

“Christmas is a time of giving, of sharing and helping others and this has never been more important.

“The devastating impact of Covid-19 has brought real hardship to many homes. Too many parents and carers are feeling real stress and anxiety about affording the basics of heat and light, never mind putting presents under the tree.

“Over the last 40 years the kind and generous people of Northern Ireland have supported this appeal and the amazing work of The Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul. I would urge everyone to do so again this year and help to make sure that no child wakes up without a gift on Christmas morning.”

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “This year has been hugely challenging for everyone, particularly those who are vulnerable or in need. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated many of the problems in our society and too many families are facing serious hardship and difficult choices this Christmas.

“We want all of our children and young people to wake up on Christmas morning and have a present to open, especially this year when many family budgets have been hit hard.

“I have no doubt that the kind and generous spirit of our people will shine through once again and that the donations received will help to support many families and put smiles on the faces of thousands of children.

“The Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul do amazing work, and I’m only too happy to lend my support to this year’s Christmas Family Appeal.”

Major Paul Kingscott, the Salvation Army’s divisional leader, said: “As a church and charity, we are inspired by the Christmas message to reach out to families in need with presents for children who might otherwise miss out on the joy and hope of this time of year.

"Through our frontline work in towns across Northern Ireland, we have seen first-hand the impact of the pandemic on the families we support. That's why we are looking forward to working with our good friends at St Vincent de Paul again to bring Christmas cheer to children and young people who need us more than ever.

"The Family Appeal relies on the incredible generosity of the public and businesses, as well as the support of our dedicated volunteers. We know this year has been difficult for so many but we ask that people continue to support the Family Appeal and help us make difference this Christmas."

Ministers in Northern ireland launching family appeal

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