This year the Plodding Along Book Club are teaming up with Wood Street Mission charity to help provide families across Salford and Manchester with books and toys this Christmas.
Wood Street Mission charity donate gifts to families each Christmas to make sure that children will have something special to open on the day. Last year around 11,000 toys were donated.
The coronavirus pandemic has made things challenging for Wood Street as they now have less people and space to store donations.
This explains why gift appeals from places like the Plodding Along Book Club are always appreciated.
Amy Coffey, runner of the book club, said: “Wood Street Mission every year, they raise money and buy books, jigsaws, games and toys for families who can’t afford to buy them at Christmas.”
Amy started running the Swinton book club when the first lockdown began.
This is her first time working with the children’s charity but she knew she could help.
She explained: “So I wanted to help this year because I started running a book business, I thought what better way to help by raising money and using the stock that I’ve got and sending it to them.”
The mum-of-three has seen the work that Wood Street Mission do and how important it is as she explained: “I’m a single parent of three kids and I do understand how hard it can be sometimes.
“I’m fortunate enough that I’ve never had to use a service like that but knowing that it’s there is helpful.”
Amy believes gift appeals are important, especially in Salford.
She said: “People are losing jobs, there’s more people using the food banks, families are struggling more than they ever have before and I think it’s important that children have some normality at Christmas.”
People can donate books, games or jigsaws.
Amy has also set up a GoFundMe page to attract more attention and all of the money raised will be spent on gifts.
She has made activity packs which include a colouring book, sweets and some crayons.
For each one sold, one pound will go towards the appeal.
Donations can be made up until the beginning of December to make sure the books are ready for delivery on the 11th.
The Plodding Along Book Club offers clubs to both children and adults. It hosts regular online events for people to join and have fun during the pandemic.
The club often has different themed weeks for example, such as fairy tales, where children can draw pictures and win prizes and parents can receive offers on books.
Amy described: “It’s created like a little community of people really where they might not always interact with each other but they are when they’re playing the games and stuff.
“I think it’s given them a bit of entertainment.
“And personally, I’ve created friendships from it.”
Amy hopes to continue running her book club in the future as she concluded: “I guess it’s to just build on it at the minute, try and get books into more children’s hands.”
The club hopes to offer supervised zoom meetings for children.