Email highlights good work of appeal

The BiG Toy Appeal coordinator Paul Whittaker and West End and Hollyoaks star Carley Stenson.
The BiG Toy Appeal coordinator Paul Whittaker and West End and Hollyoaks star Carley Stenson.

The Lancaster Guardian and BiG Storage Active Toy Appeal is delighted to welcome yet another celebrity to this year’s appeal.

This week TV and West End star Carley Stenson puts her support behind our appeal.

Carley, a patron of JUMP, one of the local charities which this year’s appeal will help, said: “It’s a huge honour to work with Big Storage on their Active Toy Appeal.

“The toys form part of our annual Christmas memory which we host for children who are challenged with life threatening conditions and disabilities.

“For those families this is an event that brings some much needed happiness during difficult times. The gifts the people of Lancaster & Morecambe provide is a very integral part of the memory.”

The toy appeal is looking for new presents that are unwrapped, for ages 0-16. If you wish to drop of any welcomed gifts. Big Storage’s local branch is located at Northgate, White Lund, and is open Mon-Fri 8-6 and 9-3 Sat.

Paul Whittaker, BiG Storage’s Active Toy Appeal coordinator, received an email this week which highlights how important the appeal is in assisting not just the local charities but also individual cases.

Paul said: “I received an email from a local school which describes the typical situations that the Toy Appeal is trying to assist in.”

The email read: “We work closely with our families and it has only come to light in the last few weeks a particular family of ours is in need.

“There are three children in the family and the middle child mentioned to his teacher that they weren’t having Christmas as they can’t’ afford it. We have been supporting the family in many ways already; however the situation escalated when school were made aware that the children sleep on mattresses with no sheets or duvets and there is a lack of money for basics.

“Consequently purchasing gifts for Christmas is not a priority. I wondered if there was any possibility of an item or items from your toy appeal being donated to support these three children.”

Paul added: “It might be hard to believe for the majority of us, but this is not an isolated incident and after speaking with a local food bank it is apparent that this year has since an increase in the number of families from all backgrounds who are below the poverty line and often through no fault of their own cannot even afford the basics.

“That is why it is more important than ever than the children in these families do not miss out on the joy of Christmas and the love and warmth it can bring.”