THOUSANDS of gifts are being donated by people across Greater Manchester in aid of Key 103’s Cash for Kids charity campaign ‘Mission Christmas’.
The Mission Christmas campaign asks people to buy an extra present for less fortunate children to open on Christmas Day.
Gifts are targeted at boys and girls aged 0-18 years old and are requested to be new and unwrapped.
In 2016, Cash for Kids raised £2.9 million in gifts and cash, with a total of 61,873 toys donated across Greater Manchester. This year, campaign organisers are aiming to beat the previous total of donations with their appeal.
Michelle Williamson, Charity Manager for Key 103’s Cash for Kids said: “We aim to give every child £40 worth of presents.
“We aren’t expecting anybody alone to donate £40, groups of people can work together to achieve this.”
Campaign organisers have worked together to transform the 24-acre Mayfield regeneration site which was previously neglected.
The Mayfield Warehouse, close to Piccadilly Station, is used as the official Mission Christmas HQ, where thousands of toy donations are stored in the run up to Christmas.
Businesses and members of the public can also donate their gifts at the Mission HQ.
Hundreds of volunteers at the HQ, along with the Bathroom Takeaway team, help to organise and deliver the presents which have been donated at drop-off points across the city.
Tony Bogg, Operations Manager for Bathroom Takeaway spoke about the company’s three-year involvement with the campaign.
Julian Smith, the Managing Director of Bathroom Takeaway and a Key 103’s Cash for Kids board member, said: “There was absolutely no question about whether we would help out again this year.
“Last year the team got behind the appeal 100% and we’ve rolled our sleeves up again to make this year’s Mission Christmas bigger and better than ever before.”
Organisers and volunteers emphasised that there are certain age categories who receive the least donations and they are striving to receive more.
Tony said: “0-3 years are struggling at the moment and usually the teens category also struggles.”
Look how empty our shelves are at Mission HQ for babies!!Please pick up teddy bears, rattles, babygrows, bibs, sensory items, dummies, absolutely anything for a child aged 0-18 months and take them to your local drop off point ?? #ComeonManchester pic.twitter.com/kJvE1P5cRn
— Cash for Kids Manchester (@cashforkidsMCR) December 6, 2017
“Gift vouchers for retail shops are an ideal present for teenagers,” said Michelle.
“This helps with their social status so that they can join in with friends who are going shopping in the January sales.”
“Any kind of gadget for a teenage boy is also an ideal present,” Michelle added.
You can drop off your gifts to the collection points, and the Mission HQ, at the various locations across Manchester below:
The final date for donating gifts to one of the collection points and to drop your gifts at Mission HQ is Saturday 16th December.
On Thursday 14th December, Masterchef winner Simon Wood is going to be making a VIP breakfast for all volunteers from 8-10am. This event is also open to the public and will take place at Mission HQ.
As well as donating a gift, people can make a cash donation online or text ‘KEY’ to 70808 to donate £5 and the campaign will buy a gift on your behalf.
We might not be able to change the poverty figures, but with your help we can put a smile on the faces of thousands of local kids this Christmas ??We still need loads more toy donations-find a drop off point at https://t.co/lQnOpaOOmj or bring them to Mission HQ (M12 6HG) ?? pic.twitter.com/QXgWg4DQSU
— Cash for Kids Manchester (@cashforkidsMCR) December 11, 2017
The campaign is backed by supporters Bathroom Takeaway and The Mayfield Partnership; comprising Manchester City Council, specialist regeneration company U+I, Transport for Greater Manchester and LCR.