Page last updated at 17:50 GMT, Thursday, 3 December 2009

Gifts sought for Family Appeal

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The Family Appeal is urging people to think of those who are struggling at Christmas.

Two charities have teamed up once again to make Christmas brighter for many Northern Ireland children and their families.

The Family Appeal is a joint initiative involving the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul with broadcast support from BBC Northern Ireland.

It aims to help struggling families at a particularly difficult time of the year.

Last year's appeal provided gifts for almost 12,500 children across Northern Ireland.

BBC Newsline's Donna Traynor, who helped launch the appeal, said: "At this time of year we would ask everyone to buy an extra couple of gifts to donate.

"It can really make the world of difference to so many families across Northern Ireland."

Major Alan Watters, from The Salvation Army in Ireland, said donating a gift could make a real difference to a child's Christmas.

"Many of us will get more than we need or even want this Christmas, but sadly around one in four children in Northern Ireland are living in poverty and without gifts from the Family Appeal, they would receive very little on Christmas morning.

"That's why the Family Appeal is so important - every gift donated really will make a difference."

Collection points

Aileen Coney, of St Vincent de Paul, said the appeal was a practical way of making Christmas brighter for many families.

"We urge you to buy an extra gift and help the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul make Christmas special for thousands of local children," she said.

Gifts can be left before Wednesday 16 December at any branch of:

  • The Salvation Army
  • Society of St Vincent de Paul
  • Tesco
  • Alliance & Leicester
  • First Trust Bank
  • Superdrug
  • Open & Direct
  • Ulster Property Sales
  • Selected branches of Co-Op stores and Curves.

All gifts must be new, unwrapped and sustainable for children and young people from tiny tots to teenagers.

If you feel you would be eligible for support from the Family Appeal contact your local social worker, health visitor or the Family Appeal office at 028 9024 0826 for guidance notes and an application form which must be returned by Wednesday 9 December.

Further information on the appeal is available on Ceefax page 178.



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