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Accrington Lions toy appeal badly needs more donations

Demand is up this year and there are just two days left to donate to disadvantaged families this Christmas

May Edmundson with some of the toys collected for this year's Toy Appeal.

Time is running out to donate to a charity which provides toys for disadvantaged children.

Volunteers from the Accrington Lions annual Toy Appeal, supported by the Accrington Observer say that demand is higher than ever and they are badly in need of further donations before the collection deadline this Thursday.

May Edmundson, the group’s welfare co-ordinator, says they have had some fantastic support, but need more gifts.

May said: “The quality of the gifts has been excellent but we have collected a lot less than last year.

“I think people just don’t have the money.

“Social media is full of people showing off their presents.

“It is heartbreaking to see families who, no matter how much they work, will never be able to give their children that type of Christmas.

“There are a lot of families who have either lost their jobs or had benefits sanctioned and there are a lot who just don’t have enough to go around.

“We have a lot of working families and to see them trying their best for the families and struggling is heartbreaking.

“When people are having to go to food banks Christmas can be the last thing they need.”

The organisation helps people from many different backgrounds who are experiencing financial difficulties.

Parents are referred to the group and invited to go along and choose a gift for their child as well as games and stocking fillers.

Over the last two years, May and her colleagues at the charity have seen an increase in demand for Christmas gifts.

She says that around 250 families registered in 2016, up from 180, the year before.

This year’s collection points are: Pampered Pets on Union Road, Oswaldtwistle; Community Solutions at Gatty Park, Church; The Globe Centre in Acrington; and Sparth House on Whalley Road, Clayton-le-Moors.

The centres are open on weekdays between 9am and 2pm.

The Wilkinson’s store, in Accrington, also has a trolley next to the customer service desk.

Those wishing to donate toys or gifts to the appeal will not be able to do so after the cut-off date of Thursday, December 7.

The parents who have been referred will collect their gifts and toys on Saturday, December 9.

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