HUNDREDS of needy children are set to have a brighter Christmas thanks to Blackpool’s second Give A Little campaign.
The Gazette has joined forces with Blackpool Council to bring the campaign – which asks residents to donate gifts to children to ensure they don’t go without this Christmas – back for a second year running.
One Blackpool family who received a sack of goodies last year said they were so overwhelmed by people’s generosity, they have pledged to donate to Give a Little this time round.
Gail Weedy, of Meanwood Avenue, Marton, whose 30-year-old son Andreas Fantousi was stabbed to death two years ago, said the donations her grandsons received last year helped to bring smiles to their faces during a difficult time, facing Christmas without their father.
The 54-year-old, who cares for five-year-old Marley and three-year-old Tamer, said: “It was fantastic last year, they loved their presents and they got to go to the circus.
“They think and talk about their Daddy all the time. They miss him.
“To think there are so many people out there who care and wanted to give something to local children is lovely.
“It’s a great idea to have the campaign, we’ll be donating some things to it.”
Last year more than £50,000 worth of gifts, experiences and donations were received, benefiting more than 1,000 children.
Coun Fred Jackson, deputy leader at Blackpool Council, said: “Last year the Give a Little campaign was an incredible success.
“The generosity and selflessness of everybody who donated was humbling, and it made a real difference to so many children in Blackpool.
“There is a heartbreaking amount of child poverty in Blackpool, and while we are working to redress the balance, once again we are asking people to dig deep and help out their neighbours.
“The financial climate is difficult for everybody at the moment, but if people are able to extend their shopping trips to an extra toy or a bit more food, then they help us make a huge difference.
“The Fantousi family’s story is very touching and brings home just how the campaign has helped in its first year.
“I’m really thankful they are now donating to help others. I hope many more will follow.”
Items which can be donated are toys, games, books and puzzles, gift sets of toiletries, clothing such as pyjama sets and festive food like selection boxes.
People are asked to leave any donations unwrapped.
Items which cannot be used are second hand toys, games, books or clothes, anything not in original packaging, perishable food or store-cupboard items.
The deadline for donations is Monday, December 10.
>> Municipal Reception (Corporation Street)
>> Progress House (Clifton Road)
>> Layton Depot (Plymouth Road)
>> The Solaris (New South Promenade)
>> The City Learning Centre (Bathurst Avenue)
>> The Enterprise Centre (Lytham Road)
>> The Gazette offices (Avroe Crescent)