Wirral Council’s annual Christmas gift appeal extended

Wirral Labour councillors have extended the borough’s toy appeal for vulnerable children by working with a local business.

The appeal, which helps spread festive cheer for the area’s vulnerable children and young people this Christmas, was due to close last Friday. But, many people were still to get their donations in and asked councillors if they could still be accepted, so Labour members asked local businesses if they could help offer collection points for donations, to run until this Thursday, 22 December.

Now, those with toys and donations can give them to branches of Karl Tatler, in Greasby, Heswall, Prenton, Liscard, Wallasey, Moreton, Bebington, and West Kirby, where they will be taken to the appeal on Thursday evening. 

The appeal asks for small new unwrapped gifts for children of all ages – from babies up to 16 year olds. Ideas include:

  • Toys for 0-12 years year olds
  • Pyjamas for 0-16 year olds
  • Gifts for teenagers such as toiletries, perfume, aftershave, make-up, socks and jewellery
  • Selection boxes
  • Medium and large Christmas gift bags to put the presents in

Wirral Labour council leader and Liscard councillor Cllr Janette Williamson said, “This year, with more families struggling amidst the cost-of-living crisis, the toy appeal may be the only chance some children have to receive a gift. We are so grateful to Karl Tatler’s team for extending the drop-off points for members of the public who are able to donate new toys from now until Thursday December 22.

“Of course, families shouldn’t be in this position. Every child should grow up safe, warm, well-fed and with a gift at Christmas. But with so many families struggling this year, if anyone is able to spare a gift for a child or young person who might not otherwise receive anything, they will help Wirral children to know they’re loved and cared for.”

Despite the challenging financial circumstances, the country is facing, many local groups have pledged their support this year. 

Gail Jenkinson is part of Labour’s action team in Greasby, which has donated toys to the appeal through their local branch. She said, “Of course, we should not be in a position where families are so badly off that they cannot afford to buy presents at Christmas.

“Thank goodness for the goodwill of local businesses like Karl Tatler and the compassion of the council in organising this toy appeal. We are delighted to join the generosity of the public by donating these gifts for the benefit of local children.”

The presents will be collected, sorted, and wrapped by a council team, with gifts distributed to children and families in time to open on Christmas morning.

Andrew Schofield, Karl Tatler’s operations director, said. “It’s a cause really close to our hearts. It’s heartbreaking to think of all those poor children waking up on Christmas day without any presents under the Christmas Tree, equally the distress of the parents of those children who obviously want to be able to provide, but simply can’t.

“This year more than any of us as we can see how much the cost of living crisis is affecting families and the knock-on impact it has on parents’ ability to buy presents for children. We are expecting more children to be living below the poverty line this year than ever before – that means more children without presents under the tree on Christmas Day. At Karl Tatler we have supported this cause for a number of years and it’s something that will continue to do.”

Image: (L-R) Alex Kemp, Kart Tatler Branch Manager in Liscard, Andrew Schofield, Karl Tatler Operations Director, and Cllr Janette Williamson, leader of Wirral Council 

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