Local builder Michael Cooney, 36, has set up a Facebook group dedicated to helping Salford families struggling this Christmas.
The group allows members of the community to post items and toys that they no longer need and offer them to good homes for free.
The idea came about when Michael, who has two young sons, offered a bike for free on Facebook.
He said: “I could’ve got at least £50 for it but I wanted to help out, especially this time of year, and knew that someone would appreciate it.”
Michael received many offers of other toys from his friends to also give away on Facebook. This spurred him on to create the group ‘Salford Kids Xmas Appeal’ in order to connect the community and allow people to give and receive for free.
The group has already helped out many locals and has gained over 2,300 members in just over three days.
Kelly Jones, a member of the community and a member of the group, said: “This group is in the process of helping me, I know a family where a foster child has just been placed with them in emergency care so has no presents just yet so we’re getting a few wrap ups for him from the group”
“I think that ideas like this by local people for local people is an excellent idea and strengthens the local community tenfold.”
As well as people posting the available toys in the group on Facebook, drop-off points are being set up around Salford where you can leave unwanted toys for other people to have.
Based in the heart of central Salford, Sunkissed Tan Salon in Eccles was announced as the first drop-off point.
Claire Whincup, director of the salon, said that many parents are ‘under so much pressure to provide’ around Christmas time. Her salon has a discreet door round the back so parents can collect toys in confidence and ‘without feeling embarrassed’.
Listen to what Claire Whincup had to say about the Salford Kids Xmas Appeal below:
With so many toys being offered away for free, Michael hopes to visit local schools and foodbanks with the donations too.
Michael urges anyone who needs help over the festive period to get involved. He said: “There’s a lot of people who might feel they don’t want to ask, but we can only make this work if people do ask so it goes to the right people.
“You don’t have to be completely skint or anything, it might just be a hard time of year for you and you think your kids will benefit.”
If you are interested in receiving donations or you wish to give donations to local families, feel free to contact Michael Cooney on 07921293525 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org