Kindness pours in as hundreds of people donate to Christmas appeals

Emily Rigby and Mel Landin of the O2 shop in Stamford hand over donated toys to the Amazon Ward at Peterborough City Hospital. EMN-141217-161713001
Emily Rigby and Mel Landin of the O2 shop in Stamford hand over donated toys to the Amazon Ward at Peterborough City Hospital. EMN-141217-161713001

People have once again been thanked for their generosity after a range of Christmas appeals were boosted by hundreds of donations.

Businesses, charities and fundraising groups asked people to think of others during the holidays and give to those less fortunate than themselves.

The Rotary Club of Stamford St Martin’s held its annual Christmas tree appeal. Trees were put up across the town and decorated with tags showing the age and gender of a child. People were asked to pick a tag and give a small gift to the child specified.

Rotarian Elissa Flatters said: “A heartfelt thank you goes out to the people of Stamford, Peterborough and the surrounding areas.

“An incredible 650 presents have been collected from local businesses by the Rotary Club of Stamford St Martin’s in our annual Christmas tree appeal and there are more to come.

“These have been distributed to local charities to use for children in their care to enable them to have a special Christmas and have been received with excitement and gratitude.

“It never ceases to amaze me. Despite the difficult times we live in people are very kind and dig deep in their wallets and their hearts at Christmas.”

The Rotary Club of Uppingham held a similar appeal with similar success. President Margaret Simpson said the club was “delighted” with the response to its ninth appeal.

She said: “We have collected gifts over the years for Home-Start, whose local base is in Melton. These presents will be delivered shortly to local families supported by Home-Start.

“This year we have collected from Empingham Medical Centre, The Falcon Hotel, The Market Place Dental Surgery and, for the first time, the new doctors’ surgery in Uppingham.

“The response was overwhelming and there was barely room in the car for the volunteers who delivered the presents.

“The response from the staff in Melton was summed up in one word: ‘Fabulous’.

“The presents were collected together in a smallish room at the centre and took over all the space. We were assured that a great number of children would have a memorable Christmas and all through the generosity of our local citizens who, once again, have come up trumps.

We would like to thank everyone for their help and wish them all a very happy Christmas.”

Several appeals chose to support children who will spend their Christmas holidays in hospital.

Staff at the O2 shop in St Paul’s Street, Stamford, asked customers to fill shoeboxes with gifts for youngsters on the Amazon ward at Peterborough City Hospital. The gifts were then donated on Wednesday.

Personnel at RAF Wittering also collected gifts for the ward.

Amazon ward play leader Holly Brown said: “We have received an overwhelming number of donations this year and we have even had a special visit from Santa, which really lifted the children’s spirits.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated Christmas gifts to the ward. This time of year can be very difficult for the children who are staying in hospital during this period and their families.

“These presents bring a little bit of Christmas magic to the ward and puts a smile on the children’s faces.”

The Salvation Army in Bourne encouraged people to add an extra Christmas present to their shopping lists to give to a family struggling to make ends meet this year.

The church was overwhelmed with presents, and is now appealing for anyone who is struggling themselves or knows someone in need to come forward and receive a donation.

Captain Kevin Brown said: “It’s my first year but I’m led to believe it is the most we have had.

“Some gifts have gone out. And we also need people in need to get in touch with us.

“People aren’t often very forthcoming. But we have got toys available for people who genuinely need them.

“People can also put others forward in full confidence.”

To get in touch with the Salvation Army call Capt Brown on 01778 393459.

The Co-operative Travel in Abbey Road, Bourne, also held a Christmas toys appeal to bring festive cheer to families in the area. The travel shop asked customers and friends to help fill Santa’s suitcase with gifts for pregnant women and babies.

The gifts were collected on Saturday and will now be given to families.

And people can still donated to Stamford Independent Travel’s Christmas suitcase appeal.

The shop has again teamed up with Home-Start and is collecting unwrapped toys, gifts and baby clothes to give to vulnerable families. People can drop in presents until the end of tomorrow.