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Christmas gift appeal’s ninth year is ‘most important yet’

Written by on 23 November 2020

One of Staffordshire’s biggest Christmas gift appeals hopes for some festive magic as it enters its ninth and most important year yet.

The Christmas Community Gift Appeal is a partnership between Aspire Housing, Tesco and Stoke City Community Trust which collects thousands of toys and games every year for local children’s charities across Staffordshire and Cheshire.

The appeal launched on Thursday 12th November across 15 local branches of Tesco, including Hanley, Meir Park, Trent Vale, Kidsgrove, Congleton, Longton, Crewe, Uttoxeter, and Tesco Express stores throughout Staffordshire and Cheshire.

Sharon Battiste, Community Connector at Aspire Housing, said: “As we enter the ninth year of this amazing collaborative campaign, it’s clear that this may be the Christmas Gift Appeal’s most important year yet. There are children and families all over Staffordshire and Cheshire who have been hit hard by Covid’s impact on our local economy, and who may struggle to even place one gift under the tree this year.

“That’s where the gift appeal comes in. We’ve seen year after year just how incredibly generous the wonderful people in our communities can be, so we’d like to ask once again for your support. Just a single Christmas gift can mean so much to these children and families, who now more than ever are in need of a little festive magic.”

The Christmas Community Gift Appeal has collected around 100,000 toys for local children since it launched in 2011, with last year’s gifts topping 14,000.

Richard Stephenson-Evans, Group Lead Champion at Tesco, commented: “While this year’s Christmas Gift Appeal will be more challenging than usual, we have enormous faith in our Tesco shoppers and the local public, and we know that so many children will get to enjoy a special Christmas because of the amazing generosity of our communities.

“The charities we work with support children of all ages, including teenagers, so all gifts suitable for someone under 18 will be hugely appreciated. We ask that you do not make any special trips to donate during national lockdown, but please do consider making a donation while you carry out any essential shopping at our stores.”

Special toy donation trolleys will be situated at the entrances of all participating stores from 12th November to 14th December, with shoppers encouraged to donate new toys and gifts in the weeks approaching Christmas.

The Christmas Community Gift Appeal will culminate in a handover event on Wednesday 16th December where the collected gifts will be handed over to more than 30 local charities ready to be distributed to the children.