Festive top appeal

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CITIZEN readers are being asked to help make this Christmas special for disadvantaged families in Fenland.

For the sixth year running, the Anglia Co-operative Travel branch in Wisbech and the Citizen have joined forces to launch the Santa’s Suitcase Toy Appeal.

We are looking for donated toys and gifts for babies up to 18 year-olds, boys and girls. Drop off points are at the Anglia Co-operative Travel branch in the Beales department store in Church Terrace, the Citizen office at 11 Union Street, Wisbech and a new drop-off this year - the Anglia Co-operative’s Badgeney Road store in March.

With your generosity we have helped to spread Christmas joy to hundreds of children over the years in conjunction with the Wisbech Salvation Army.

Due to health and safety regulations, we can only accept new and not second-hand toys, no knitted toys but books are acceptable.

Wisbech Salvation Army Territorial Envoys Russell and Alison Day are also keen for donations of gifts for teenagers.

Travel branch acting manager Harriet Secker said: “Our customers and Citizen readers have demonstrated unbelievable generosity since we launched our toy appeal and, with your help, we can make Christmas for families in the area who have very little.

“Please bring us your gifts of toys, books, puzzles for all ages. Unfortunately we cannot accept second-hand toys or any cuddly toys.”

Major Russell Day said: “Last year something like 30 families were helped by the appeal. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped.

“We can only do what people gift us to do, so we’re very much relying on the generosity of others. There are still families in need and Christmas is a time when that need is most desperate.”

All toys collected will be delivered to families by Wisbech Salvation Army working with social services. The last date to bring us your toys is December 13 so don’t delay, donate now.

Pictured at the toy appeal launch are Alison and Russell Day holding Santa’s Suitcase with travel staff Joanne Horspole, Emily Lee, Harriet Secker and Sue Irving from the Fenland Citizen. Photo: MFCP121PT11027.