Christmas-spirited Bassetlaw councillors have given the David Hawke Toy Appeal a festive boost with a generous donation of £800.
The annual toy appeal is run by Val Casey and her team at Worksop Estate Agents David Hawke, who collect toys and gifts from Bassetlaw residents and donate them to underprivileged children in the district.
For more than 20 years they have made sure that thousands of children have had a present to open on Christmas Day and this year, 11 councillors have donated funds from their Community Grants.
Coun Julie Leigh, cabinet member for neighbourhoods at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “No child should go without a present on Christmas Day and this wonderful cause ensures that families in Bassetlaw can have an extra special day.”
Val Casey said: “We’ve had another fantastic response from the public this year who have been extremely supportive over the last two decades.
“This generous donation from councilors will really boost our appeal, so thank you to everyone who has contributed.”
David Hawke said: “All the presents go to Surestart, formally social services, who are based all over Bassetlaw.
“Last year we had more than 2,000 toys and this year we are hoping for more.
“The office has been filled. They are in the corridor, the front and in the offices. They are all brand new toys for children from 0 to 16-years-olds, boys and girls.
“People tend to bring toys for the younger ones.
“There has been a constant stream of people coming in and they are all entered in a raffle with the chance to win a £50 voucher.
“We have regular people who have been donating for more than 23 years. The appeal goes back to when we were known as Hawkes.
“It started as an appeal for money along with the fire station. They would bring a fire engine to the office with the sirens going, place a ladder against the top window of the office and turn on a smoke machine.
“There would be smoke billowing out and people would start to gather. A firefighter would then rescue someone from the office as by this time a huge had gathered so we would go round with a bucket.
“We have always got involved with the fire stations. One year they made a Father Christmas and we put him on a trailer which we made look like a house we were selling and we sold it off brick by brick to raise money.
“The generosity of people who will go out of their way to bring presents from the appeal is unbelievable.
“These are difficult times for everyone and they are still coming in with gifts.”
If you would like to donate to the David Hawke Toy Appeal, you have until Monday, December 17, to drop donations off at their Bridge Street offices.
The gifts should be left unwrapped.
The toys will be collected and delivered to Surestart on Monday, December 17.