Kind-hearted residents have donated 6,000 items to this year’s Santa Appeal worth an estimated £27,500.
The mountain of toys, games, teddies, dolls and more was collected by Salford City Council’s bin crews and sorted by volunteers from Rotary in Worsley who also helped distribute the gifts.
City Mayor Paul Dennett thanked everyone who has supported the appeal either by donating or helping to run it.
“Once again I’m overwhelmed at the kindness of the people of Salford. We asked them to help make sure children in our city didn’t miss out on Christmas and their generosity is simply amazing. This is not just the spirit of Christmas but also the spirit of Salford,” he said.
Tony Clayson, President of Rotary in Worsley, said the organisation was delighted to help.
“Rotary is all about giving back to the community and it was wonderful to see the sheer volume of presents that had been donated. We had to pull in extra volunteers to cope but we were delighted to do so,” he said.
The idea of asking local residents to leave a gift out with any bin or food caddy being collected came from refuse collector Sam Barry, who is also the Unison convenor. Unison, GMB and Unite backed the idea by sponsoring red high visibility jackets and Santa hats for the crews to wear during the week of the collection. Last year they collected 5,000 items worth an estimated £25,000.
Sam, who led this year’s collection with Unite convenor Tony Calderwood, said: “I know many families are going through tough times so when I suggested the idea to the lads they couldn’t do enough to help. We are so grateful to all the wonderful people of Salford and Rotary in Worsley who have helped make Christmas special for local children and young people.”