Helping children to have a magical day

COUNCILLORS and volunteers have dug deep to make sure that disadvantaged children in Wigan have a brighter Christmas.

A donation of £2,550 was made from Wigan Council’s Brighter Borough Initiative to the Wigan Children’s Fund Christmas Appeal which will give presents to children from across the borough in time for Christmas.

As part of the appeal, which is supported by the council and run by volunteers, a number of councillors joined forces with local volunteers and got involved in the fund-raising.

Heinz staff also donated presents to the appeal and the company also donated food for hampers.

Councillor Susan Loudon, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Last year the appeal reached more than 300 households. At present we’ve reached 200, but we’re hoping to help as many as 500 before Christmas!”

The Children’s Fund is a national government programme, which set aside a pool of money to provide services for children aged four to 13 who are at risk of social exclusion.

The fund targets a variety of children including those who have a disability, have suffered or witnessed domestic violence, are at risk of anti-social behaviour or offending, whose parents misuse drugs or alcohol, whose parents suffer mental health problems or those who come from an ethnic minority background.

The appeal takes referrals before Christmas and volunteers work hard to deliver gifts to as many of the borough’s disadvantaged families as they can.

Team manager Jan Lee said: “We have more than 250 active volunteers who go to great lengths to support our children and families. The volunteers are actively involved with the planning, wrapping, and delivery of presents to families who need them the most.

“Without the caring, sharing thoughts of our volunteers a lot of children and young people would otherwise not have very much to smile about during the festive season.”