HUNDREDS of kind readers have made our third annual Toys and Tins Appeal an outstanding success.
Underprivileged children and needy pensioners across the borough, who had been facing a bleak Christmas, can now enjoy a brighter festive season thanks to the support of Observer readers.
The appeal has been hailed as a huge success by Accrington Lions and Age Concern Hyndburn, who have been responsible for delivering the toys and tins to those most in need.
Toys were presented to about 80 children aged from three months to 16 years and hundreds of tins of food were collected for OAPs.
Asda's Hyndburn store got behind the appeal by setting up a collection point in its reception area and Thwaites Brewery also helped by linking the appeal to the re-opening of the Hare and Hounds pub in Clayton-le-Moors.
It donated £600-worth of toys and then gave a free drink to every customer who brought along a toy or a tin at the re-opening night.
Patrick Collister, Chief Executive of Age Concern Hyndburn, said: "It has gone extremely well and we have had an above-average response.
"The food collected goes to old people living alone who are socially isolated and it does a lot towards making sure they have a good Christmas. It is greatly appreciated by our clients and we would like to express our thanks to the Observer and the public.
"The success of the appeal seems to increase year on year."
Peter Hopwood of Accring-ton Lions said: "It's gone extremely well. We got all the families together on Friday to give out the toys and we also passed some onto Dorothy McGregor of Maundy Grange, as she has a grotto down there.
"We had a better quality of toy this year and more new toys than ever before.''
Observer Editor Mervyn Kay said: "We are delighted the appeal has been a major success yet again and the credit must go to our readers who have responded magnificently.''