Council staff spread Christmas cheer with toy donations

Christmas is a time for giving and employees and councillors have been giving a helping hand to families in need this month.

Elected members and staff from Durham County Council have been donating new, unwrapped toys and gifts for children who might not otherwise receive a Christmas present, as part of the Salvation Army toy appeal.

By buying an extra toy for a child or gift for a teenager when they completed their Christmas shopping, council employees are hoping to bring festive cheer to deprived youngsters in the region.

Toys and gifts were collected at the council’s County Hall headquarters throughout December and were presented by Chairman Cllr John Lethbridge to the Salvation Army, whose volunteers will then distribute the presents to struggling families.

Cllr Lethbridge, said: “I’m very happy that we’re continuing our annual tradition of helping the Salvation Army make Christmas special for youngsters by holding a toy collection. It’s fantastic to see how generous our employees and elected members have been this year and to think of the joy those donations will bring to local families.”

Major Ian Fawcett from the Salvation Army, said: “There has been a tremendous increase in the number of family referrals to the Salvation Army Toy Appeal.  Without the support and donations by schools, businesses and individuals we would not be able to meet the needs of the families referred.  We are so grateful for everyone’s support.”