THOUSANDS of Blackpool children can hopefully look forward to a happier Christmas this year.
For The Gazette and Blackpool Council are joining forces to ensure the festive spirit reaches even the most deprived parts of the town.
The town hall has teamed up with organisations including the Business Improvement District (BID), StayBlackpool, and local faith groups to launch the Give a little...Help a lot campaign to make sure children receive a special gift this year.
It comes in the wake of reports that around 9,000 children are living in poverty in the resort.
Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said: “It’s great to be joining forces with The Gazette on this.
“There are families all over Blackpool who are really struggling. For them the reality is Christmas won’t be a case of whether they can afford an Xbox, mobile phone or the latest must-have gift for their children. The reality will be whether to pay for an electricity top up card or put food on the table.”
Residents are being urged to donate presents, non-perishable food and cash to the appeal.
The campaign is being led by Blackpool Council’s deputy leader Coun Fred Jackson who added: “My wife Pam had the idea we should do something really proactive to try and make things better for children this Christmas. We’re also using the campaign to raise the profile of existing fundraising and donations.”
Gazette editor David Helliwell said: “We’re delighted to partner Blackpool Council in this very worthwhile appeal and hope people will want to support it.
“While many families really look forward to their Christmas time together, it’s not such a happy story for all. This is a great way to celebrate this traditional time of giving by doing something that will really benefit someone less fortunate in our community.”
Collections points are available at the council’s municipal buildings on Corporation Street, Progress House on Clifton Road, Lee House on Plymouth Road, the Solaris Centre on New South Promenade, the Enterprise Centre on Lytham Road, and The Gazette offices on Avroe Crescent.
There will also be a collection at Saturday’s Christmas lights switch-on in St John’s Square.