Annual Gainsborough Christmas Toy Appeal gets biggest response yet

An annual Christmas toy appeal in Gainsborough has seen the biggest response yet despite the challenging year caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

This year the toy appeal was organised by the Gainsborough Salvation Army

Captain Wendy Brown said: “With the help from Paul Bagshaw, the toy appeal was launched in November and we have been amazed and overwhelmed by the generosity of the local community.

"We have received double the amount of toys we normally receive and also received generous cash donations both from individuals and local businesses which enabled us to buy even more toys.

Captains Kevin and Wendy Brown, the church leaders of Gainsborough Salvation Army, with the toys

“However, due to the pandemic we have also received probably four times as many referrals for support this Christmas and without the support we would not have been able to help so many families that find themselves in difficult circumstances.

“We would normally hold a Toy Service and invite the Mayor, local councillors and representatives from the various schools and agencies that we work alongside but this was impossible this year, so the Toy Service was held online, via our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GainsSA.

“The majority of families received a luxury Christmas food hamper and each child received a bag of gifts and a selection box each.

“We would like to sincerely thank everyone who has donated to our appeal, because of them we have been able to bring some happiness into many households this Christmas.”

Paul Bagshaw launched the Christmas Toy Appeal six years ago and it has gone from strength to strength over the years with more donations and gifts than ever before.

Mr Bagshaw said: “Last year was an amazing year and I did think about ending my involvement with it as I’d been doing it for five years and people must be getting fed up with me asking for money every November to purchase toys, gifts and bikes for the Christmas Toy appeal.

"Then in 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic took over and it was looking like this Christmas was going to be a tough one for us all let alone the families that struggle in a relatively normal year.

“And as always when the town of Gainsborough is asked to help they never fail.”

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