Worsley Rotary Club have teamed up with Salford City Council and the city’s bin men to collect toy donations from Salford residents.
After the roaring success last year’s Salford Santa Appeal, the council turned to local groups to see if they could get extra support from the community to help cope with the amount of donations they have collected from the appeal.
Tony Clayson, Worsley Rotary Club President, explained why he thinks it’s so important groups like the Rotary support this cause, “It’s become increasingly obvious to us in Rotary that our community relies heavily on support.
In a city that has one of the largest numbers of underprivileged families, this project especially around Christmas time ensures children get toys that might not otherwise do so.”
The appeal not only helps children, but also takes the pressure off their parents who can’t afford to buy presents for them.
Tony Calderwood, Trade Union convener at Salford City Council, said “It was nice last year when we saw the faces of children, but for me it was even nicer to see the look of the relief on the parents faces when the pressure had been taken off and they knew that the children had been taken care of at Christmas time.”
Taking over the changing rooms of Broughton Hub, the Rotary and volunteers had hundreds of presents ready to be sorted through over the past couple of weeks to be ready in time for Christmas.
The city’s bin men dropped off the donations they had collected at the Hub, with another option for people to bring their donations straight to the Hub, to make donating easier.
Along with volunteers, the team gather and organise the toys into age and gender which then get bagged up and taken to different charities that provide for underprivileged children.
There is a massive demand in Salford for toys at Christmas, with 19,541 children living in poverty in Salford according to Endchildpoverty.co.uk.
Sam Barry, founder of the Salford Santa Appeal, explained how successful the project has been so far, “Last year the charities received four times the amount of toys they asked for, with this year looking like we will have the same amount if not more.”
Charities such as Human Kind and Wipe Your Tears are just a couple of examples of the charities that have a high demand for toys for families who are struggling this Christmas.
Toys such as Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot and slime making kits were alongside children’s books and even presents for older children such as Body Shop products and bath bombs in the large amount of collections waiting to be sorted and distributed by the Rotary and its volunteers.
Second hand gifts and toys are sorted into a separate pile. Although they can’t be sent out to the families as presents, after team have finished with the new toys and gifts, the team distribute the second hand toys to after school clubs and other groups who can put the toys to good use.
With the number of gifts and toys being donated, Sam decided to push the deadline for toy donations back until Friday 13th December, and with the help of the Rotary the goal to get the toys sorted and distributed look more achievable.
Sam said Worsley Rotary Club’s help has been “outstanding” and expressed his gratitude for the Rotary club’s help, “Without them it would have been organised chaos again like it was last year. It’s just manic, it has been a lot more organised this year with a lot of help from the rotary club.
We hope to replicate what we did last year the same this year if not exceed it and try and make this an ongoing project not just a one off.”