The best toy appeal ever

Newspaper: Hemsworth Express.'Story: South Elmsal town council launch a toy appeal for families who use the food bank at the Westfield Centre, South Elmsall.'Pictured L to R) Jim Tubman - volunteer, Clare Baxter - town clerk South Elmsall town council, Jeff Johnson - volunteer, Margaret Stevens - volunteer, Cllr. Bryan Capstick - South Elmsall town council.'Photo date: 09/11/15'Picture Ref: AB519a1115
Newspaper: Hemsworth Express.'Story: South Elmsal town council launch a toy appeal for families who use the food bank at the Westfield Centre, South Elmsall.'Pictured L to R) Jim Tubman - volunteer, Clare Baxter - town clerk South Elmsall town council, Jeff Johnson - volunteer, Margaret Stevens - volunteer, Cllr. Bryan Capstick - South Elmsall town council.'Photo date: 09/11/15'Picture Ref: AB519a1115
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Our generous readers have helped make the Christmas Toy Appeal 2015 the best one yet.

You donated hundreds of toys and gifts for the campaign, which was organised by South Elmsall Town Council, the Westfield Centre Food Bank and the Express.

Businesses and groups also supported the appeal - Maddie Moos Play and Sensory and Hemsworth Probus Club bought stackloads of gifts, Coun Lee Pickin, from Upton and North Elmsall Town Council, used his chairman’s allowance to buy £120 worth of toys while community volunteer - and Express grassroots correspondent - Leah Bruce-May collected £400 from her family and friends to spend on gifts.

Youngsters from Badsworth Day Nursery collected children’s clothes, food and chocolate for the appeal.

The town council put in £320 and the food bank donated £200 cash, which has been used to buy vouchers for teenagers.

The presents are now being wrapped the early help centre in Hemsworth, ready for distributing to struggling families in time for Christmas.

Clare Baxter, council clerk, said: “It has been a really brilliant year - the best one we’ve ever seen. One man came in to ask what we needed, then returned with a sackful of gift sets and presents for teenagers. He must have spent a few hundred pounds, and we had another man come in with lots of gifts already wrapped.

“Everyone has been so generous. We’d like to say a big thank-you to everyone who donated, and to the early help centre staff for all their hard work. It is great to see how much good we can do when all the different community groups and organisations work together.”

Gemma Jimmison, Express co-ordinator, said: “I’ve been running the toy appeal for six years now and every year I am amazed at how much is donated, at how generous people are. The toy appeal gets bigger and better every year. It is great to know that so many children will be able to wake up on Christmas morning with gifts under their tree because of this campaign.

“I want to say thank-you to the town council, the food bank and the early help centre for their work organising the appeal, and to everyone who donated. We couldn’t have done it without you.”