A selfless landlady at a community pub in Boothstown is asking for donations of presents to provide disadvantaged children with some normality on what could be the most abnormal Christmas in recent times.

Karen Baird, landlady at the Royal Oak, Boothstown, launched the appeal through Facebook, asking locals to donate gifts suitable for children under 16 to prevent any child from waking up with nothing on Christmas morning.

“Every year I do something for charity, normally a food collection. But this year I felt that a lot of families would be struggling for toys and gifts for their children,” she said.

“So, we decided to do this this year to help families where parents have lost their jobs and could be struggling.”

With statistics showing that over one third of children across Salford were living below the breadline in 2019, it is leaving many concerned as to how families will cope after all of the financial challenges and unemployment that have been brought about due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Donations received so far include hundreds of soft toys, books, board games and more. She is still hoping for more donations of any suitable toys and gifts to help make a difference to families across Salford this Christmas.

“I have been doing collections for many years, but I feel we have had more support than usual this year, ” said Karen who has been overwhelmed by the response to this year’s appeal.

The donations will be going to the Salvation Army and also to domestic abuse centres to ensure those families who are really in need this Christmas are able to access this support.




The beloved landlady has previously been praised for her selflessness and heroism after arranging meals for those in need such as local NHS staff and elderly members of the community – all while the area’s pubs and businesses are already struggling with the uncertainty that has been brought upon them by Covid-19.

Anyone able to donate a present can message the page on Facebook, or dropping them off on a Friday between 2pm and 6pm, or at weekends between 1pm and 6pm.

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