Give a gift to help children at Christmas

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A toy bank is being set up in Skegness to ensure children from disadvantaged families get a present to open on Christmas Day.

Mum-of-one Heather Nicholls decided to set up a toy bank after being shocked to hear so many children in the area face going without this year.

“It’s unbelievable how many under-privileged children there are in the Skegness area,” said Heather, who heard of their plight from friends who work in the care services.

She decided to look into whether the Skegness area would benefit from a toy bank after hearing of a similar scheme in Northampton.

“I understand there to be around 250 children who face the prospect of not getting a present for Christmas as their parents are already struggling to make ends meet and pay the bills – so they can barely afford to buy toys. I think we can all do something about this.”

The campaign is asking for donations of quality toys which will be delivered to families who are struggling financially this Christmas. At least 250 gifts are needed.

Local agencies dealing with children will be asked to identify families who could benefit from the appeal.

“We already have a number of local businesses who have pledged to take part and three drop-off points for the gifts,” she said.

“I would also like to hang special tags on Christmas trees in the town which have things like ‘little girl aged seven’ or ‘boy aged 13’ written on them – so we get gifts with a wide age range covered.”

Heather, 35, who has lived in the Skegness area all her life, said she feels strongly about the issue and hopes the community will get behind the appeal to bring some extra Christmas cheer.

“I would appeal to people when they are buying gifts for loved ones this year to try to buy just one more as it could really make a huge difference to a child on Christmas Day,” she said.

To help, email heatherboxall@hotmail.com.