The Wade Hall Community Association is asking for donations of Christmas gifts to giveaway to struggling families who might go without this year.
The voluntary community centre on Royal Avenue in Leyland provides services to support the local community such as a youth club, dance group, study group, coffee mornings and groups for the elderly.
They have asked for help to provide children’s toys, gifts for teenagers and food for over the Christmas period to help underprivileged families in the area.
Chairperson and founder of the centre, Joan Musker, has been helping make Christmas special for people in the area for many years and is trying to still do that despite COVID-19 restrictions:
“We’ve made hampers with food and children’s toys for Christmas for many years for people who haven’t got a lot. We usually open on Christmas day for people who need somewhere to go, they have something to eat and drink. This is for anyone whether they’re homeless, alone or older members of the community, anyone who is lonely.
“This year is going to be different, we might not be able to open our doors because of these unprecedented times but what we can do is make sure these people get the Christmas they deserve. We need to make sure this year even more so that we are working together to provide for families and elderly people.”
The centre provides for the community all year round and since the Coronavirus Pandemic began, they have been running a food bank.
Joan explains how the area has suffered in recent months since the pandemic started:
“People are going to be struggling now more so than ever, there is a lot of poverty anyway within these areas and obviously, it has made it worse, families have been furloughed or lost their jobs. We had to close the centre when Covid came along so we decided to set up the food bank to help people within the community.”
The thought of children going without on Christmas spurs the volunteers at the centre to do all they can:
“Here at the centre, we pride ourselves on the help we have provided to those in need for so many years and knowing where it is needed but we honestly couldn’t do it without people’s generosity.
“It’s very sad for me to think of all the children in our area who won’t have many gifts to open this year. In fact, they may not even have a meal to eat on this special day. Please consider putting one more person on your Christmas gift list this year.”
If you would like to donate, you can ring to arrange a time to drop off on 01772 465006 or you can visit Wade Hall Community Centre, 73 Royal Avenue, Leyland, Lancashire, PR25 1BX.