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Father Christmas flies by to support Sefton Mayor’s Toy Appeal

A very special visitor stopped by from the North Pole this week to check in on the Mayor of Sefton’s Christmas Toy Appeal.

Taking time out of his busy schedule, Father Christmas helped to deliver toys collected by Litherland Youth and Community Centre, who have supported the appeal for many years.

Fifteen sacks of gifts were delivered to Bootle Town Hall from the club, which will be distributed to children across the Borough in time for Christmas Day.

Mayor and Youth Centre Staff, alongside Father Christmas
Mayor and Youth Centre Staff, alongside Father Christmas

Cllr June Burns, Mayor of Sefton, said: “It really has been quite overwhelming but utterly joyous to see the amount of support we’ve received from the entire Borough for this year’s appeal. People have continued to show their kindness, giving what they can for others, to ensure that everyone has a special Christmas this year.

“Father Christmas was so impressed by the whole of Sefton’s efforts so far, and he asked me to pass on his thanks to each and every person, business and community group, like the amazing Litherland Youth and Community Centre, who have contributed this year. It’s shaping up to be the best year ever for donations, so I would like to echo that thanks as well – we really couldn’t do this without your support!”

Earlier this week, the Mayor of Sefton received a cheque for £2,048 from this year’s online crowdfunding effort, as well as contributions from local community groups and businesses. Volunteers will use the donations to buy a range of toys and gifts for teenagers, children and toddlers to enjoy this Christmas.

Mayor and Joe with the cheque
Mayor and Joe with the cheque

Joe Farrell, an Early Help School Attendance Officer from the Council, delivered the cheque to the Mayor and is just one of many volunteers who will be helping to sort gifts and support the safe delivery of them to families around Sefton.

In his spare time, Joe who is a keen angler, has raised more than £2,500 through his own fundraising efforts. He has donated £1,500 to the toy appeal and will be supporting other Sefton community causes with the rest of the funds.

Joe Farrell said: “I’m inspired each year by the hard work and dedication of my colleagues and fellow volunteers who support the Mayor’s Christmas Toy Appeal.

“This year, fearing a possible shortfall in funds and restrictions putting a stop to some of our usual fundraising events, I felt I had to go the extra mile to support the appeal. Together with the support of my fishing community online as well as friendship circles and sponsors, I have been able to successfully raise over £2,500 to date.

“I have donated £1,500 into the toy appeal already and I am going to support the fantastic work of some of our community organisations across Sefton with the remainder of my fundraising.”

Donations continue to be shared, with special thanks to St Robert Bellarmine Catholic Primary and Birkdale High School, who have shared toys and gifts with the appeal this year.

Another local fundraising hero, trainee doctor Lucy Wright from Birkdale, has raised £500 by selling her homemade cakes. The former Greenbank High School student has purchased gifts from the proceeds of the cake sales, which will now go to the appeal and put smiles on the faces of many children this Christmas.

A table of baked cakes
Lucy’s home baking

New and unwrapped toys, gift vouchers, toiletries, pyjamas and stocking fillers for all ages, are still welcomed as part of the appeal. Items can be donated in the following ways:

  • Dropped off at the in-store donation point at Asda Central 12 in Southport
  • Dropped off at libraries and leisure centres (opening hours may be varied so people should check before making a drop off)

People need to drop off their donations by Tuesday 22nd December 2020, in time for them to be sent out for Christmas Day.