Salvation Army launches Norfolk Xmas appeal
This year’s Toys & Tins appeal has just been launched by the Salvation Army, at a time when more and more people across the county are in need of help.
There are many people who turn to differing agencies for help when they need support for daily living. The Salvation Army is a church that responds to requests for help throughout the year. But as Christmas approaches, they collaborate annually with BBC Radio Norfolk in the Toys & Tins Appeal.
Instead of waiting for people to come to the Salvation Army for help, they actively seek nominations of families who need support. Social care workers, health care workers, churches, charities and schools all refer those in need. Rather than just provide basics, they try to give each family a taste of festive food and a selection of gifts for each young person in that family.
Thousands of requests were processed in 2013, providing food to 2,395 adults, and food and gifts to 2,873 children.
In order to meet such high demand the Salvation Army relies on the generosity of local people. Through BBC Radio Norfolk, gifts are collected during the ‘Roadshow’ week (17th-22nd November); and collection points throughout the county are advertised.
A favourite collection point is the ‘Sleigh’, situated in the BBC foyer in the Forum which attracts large numbers of gifts. There are collection points in other towns too and in the Norfolk Salvation Army centres and charity shops. They have run a Corporate Box scheme for 2 years, in which local companies agree to host a box for their employees to fill. Together with gifts from local manufacturers, this goes a long way to providing what is needed.
However, funds are also needed to purchase ‘festive fare’, so that they can put together a hamper of quality for each family, which includes treats.
Volunteers in Salvation Army centres across Norfolk give their time and energy to collect and sort gifts, then package and deliver them in the weeks leading up to Christmas. In Norwich, the appeal is based at their warehouse – The HUB. Elsewhere in the county they work in Salvation Army premises. Local companies provide vans for them to collect and deliver gifts.
“When we launch we have no idea how many families will be referred to us” said Francesca Keith, Programme Secretary for the appeal. “Over recent years, the number of requests has increased significantly. Add to this the fact that we never know how generous people will be or what they will donate. And yet we plan the Appeal very carefully and trust in the continuing generosity of everyday people. The Salvation Army just acts as the link between the people who want to give and the families who benefit. We very much hope that you will be able to support the Appeal this year.”
The Salvation Army and BBC Radio Norfolk launched the 2014 Toys & Tins Appeal on Monday 17th November.
The Salvation Army receives many generous donations for the appeal. These may come from local groups or national organisations. All of the money and gifts received are used for the appeal.
Once again this year members of the public can give online at www.justgiving.com/toysandtins2014, and by texting the code TOYS88 and the amount e.g. 'TOYS88 £5' – to 70070.
Visit : www.salvationarmy.org.uk/ang
Or Facebook: toysandtinsappeal. Twitter @ToysandTins
Address: The Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters 2 Barton Way, Norwich NR1 1DL
Phone: 01603 724403
The photo at the top shows the 2014 entry into the Lord Mayor's Parade with support from BBC Radio Norfolk. The sleigh is our collection point at the Forum in Norwich.