Halton Borough Council staff, volunteers, churches and supermarkets have been busy both sides of the Mersey making up Christmas hampers for those in need in Runcorn and Widnes.

Throughout the year Halton Children’s Centres have continued to work through the pandemic, albeit offering a reduced service, but still supporting those who need it most. 

Runcorn Children’s Centre team worked on a plan to continue to offer the hamper and toy appeal in a Covid secure way.  With numerous risk assessments and PPE staff  managed to create 175 hampers this year.

This equates to 480 children. That’s a lot of presents!

A range of professionals, including health visitors, social workers, early help officers, locality workers,  schools and nursery staff have identified families that they feel would benefit from this initiative.

Organisers want to thank to the kind generosity of other families, individuals and organisations such as Runcorn Food Bank, MerseyFlow, PossAbilities CIC,  St Edward’s & Holy Spirit church,  Asda, and All Saints Church in Warrington.

Asda in Runcorn continued to be a great supporter of the initiative by collecting toys from shoppers.

Dee Samuel, Community Colleague at Asda said: “Customers have been donating new gifts and making financial contributions.”

Hard-working volunteers at Widnes Methodist Churches recently joined with the Trinity/Kings Cross Project and Halton Borough Council to once again provide some much- needed Christmas cheer for families in Widnes.

More than 140 hampers – including food, household goods, toiletries, treats and gifts for all the family – were delivered last Wednesday by family workers.

Special thanks are due to Widnes Children’s Centres, Roy Jacks, VINCI, CAPITA, Merseyflow, Asda, B&M and Aldi, not forgetting the local community, for the amazing response to the appeal.

A spokesperson for Widnes churches said: “The demand has been totally unprecedented this year. We have been overwhelmed by how generous people have been donating goods and cash, particularly in these hard times.”

Halton Borough Council’s Executive Board Member for Children, Education and Social Care, Cllr Tom McInerney, said: “This has been such a tough year for so many people and it is so humbling to see how generous and kind the local community have been.

“We all know Christmas can be a very stressful time for families, this year even more so with the impact of Covid 19,  job losses,  increased cost of food and heating. And this has left many families short to buy their child a gift for the festive period.

“By providing a food hamper and gifts we can relieve some of that pressure to ensure that the children are not left going without over the Christmas period.

“We wish everyone in Halton a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year! ”

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