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Rotary toy collection for Christmas gets under way

Dukinfield and Stalybridge Rotary Club is once again collecting toys this Christmas for children most in need.

The project to collect toys for local youngsters who wouldn’t otherwise receive presents on Christmas Day due to their family circumstances was first launched last year.

It proved to be such a great success, helping many hard-pressed local families who were struggling to meet the costs of Christmas.

Following that success the club has decided to run the project again including some new activities to extend its impact.

Rotary Club member and Project Leader Brenda Hawkins explained: “Our 2020 Toy Appeal started when one of our members, Cllr Jan Jackson, was contacted by a local school.

“Over recent years the school had supported the families of a few of their pupils where financial circumstances meant that they could not afford Christmas gifts by providing some small, stocking-fillers.

“However, during the pandemic, the number of families experiencing financial hardship increased significantly and the school hadn’t the resources to support the numbers of children who needed gifts, so they contacted Jan to see if there was any further help available.”

Brenda continued: “Our club members unanimously decided to support this cause, rallying round to collect unwanted toys from friends and family, purchasing toys to donate, and leafleting locally to increase the numbers of donated toys and gifts to distribute.

“The project was a great success, collecting sufficient toys and gifts to support all the local schools who asked for our help.

“Our ambition in 2021 is to extend our reach so we can meet the growing need in Tameside.

“We’ve contacted primary schools in Stalybridge and Dukinfield who have identified the children and families who need our help.

“We’re once again running the appeal for donations of new and unwanted new toys and gifts suitable for young children.”

Anyone who can donate can contact Brenda on 07834 220388 to arrange either to drop off the toys at Ashton Golf Club or for a Rotary member to pop by and pick up the toys.

Meanwhile, in a new development for 2021 the club ran an ‘every ticket a winner’ tombola stall at Hyde Saturday market recently which was a big hit with shoppers.

Rotary members personally donated prizes and organised collections of donated prizes and were delighted to raise just over £260 which will be used to purchase new toys for the appeal.

Brenda added: “Thanks to everyone who purchased a ticket or who has already donated toys - we’re on track to achieve our ambition and help even more struggling families.”

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