Kind strangers help meet festive target

Steph Arnold is trying to raise money for Christmas gifts to give to the homeless
Steph Arnold is trying to raise money for Christmas gifts to give to the homeless
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Kind-hearted strangers have helped a Blackpool mum smash her festive fund-raising target.

Steph Arnold, 32, hoped to raise £600 so she could buy Christmas presents for some of the resort’s homeless men and women.

I can’t believe how generous everyone is being

The former Baines High School student, who lives near Stanley Park with her husband and three-month-old son, said presents will be given to 15 young people cared for by the Streetlife shelter in Blackpool town centre and 60 older people cared for by The Bridge Project at The Salvation Army in Raikes Parade.

After an appeal to The Gazette’s readers last month, Steph has now raised more than £1,000 – and does not plan on stopping now.

“I can’t believe how generous everyone is being,” she said. “I have just upped the next target to £1,500.

“As well as buying a set of Christmas pressies for each person, this would also give us enough to buy some essential items such as toiletries and also enough to give both Streetlife and The Bridge Project a cheque each this Christmas to spend where it’s needed most.

“There have been a lot of cuts this year to charity funding so anything people can give would be hugely appreciated.”

Steph launched her fund-raising campaign online after reading about the plight of Syrian refugees.

She said: “It got me thinking about people closer to home as well. I knew they need essentials, but I wondered if they get treats and something nice to open on Christmas morning.”

And after writing to local companies asking for donations, Steph is hoping they will give to the cause.

Aggie McGuinness Photography has offered a family photoshoot and a framed portrait worth £85, Morrisons has given £40, Tesco has donated packets of biscuits, and Baxter Life Care, in Red Bank Road, Bispham, has given £100, Steph said.

Search for ‘Christmas gifts for Blackpool’s homeless people’ on Facebook to donate.

Related article:|Bright Christmas for resort’s poor}