The Salvation Army in Trowbridge is calling on the local community to donate new toys to its Christmas Appeal that will help to bring a little seasonal cheer to families in need over the festive season.

This will undoubtedly be a difficult Christmas for local families as many have faced job losses and reduced income due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s expected that the number of people requesting support will be greater this year, so it is hoped that Trowbridge will show its spirit of generosity this Christmas.

Salvation Army church leader Territorial Envoy Michala Lancefield said “Every year we ask people to donate brand new toys and gifts to our Christmas Present Appeal so we can distribute them to families whose children would otherwise not receive a gift.  Due to the amazing generosity of our community last Christmas, we supported some 200 families with food and 360 children with toys and presents.  This year, we are expecting the number of families requesting help to rise as a result of the pandemic’s impact on already tight family budgets. By adding an extra present or gift to your shopping this year, you can remind families facing a tough winter that their communities care.”

The Salvation Army will be collecting donations for children from birth to 18 years of age and so gifts can include anything from soft and educational toys for the very youngest child, to games, toys, books, toiletries and accessories for older children.

Michala continued “We now have all of our plans in place for this year’s appeal and of course we are working hard to make sure everything will be COVID safe for our donors, volunteers, the social workers and the families they are working with.

“The Salvation Army are now welcoming donations until Wednesday 9th December. Anyone wishing to donate can bring their brand-new unwrapped toys and gifts to the following locations:

“The Shires Shopping Centre Management Office, between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Saturday, and 10am until 4pm on Sundays. Branches of Morrisons in both Westbury and Warminster are welcoming donations during their store opening hours.

“We will also be providing two opportunities for people to bring their kind donations directly to our church building in Castle Street, Trowbridge on Friday 4th December between 5pm and 8pm, and on Saturday 5th from 10am until 2pm. (In the event that you intend to visit our premises, we kindly ask that you observe all COVID-19 guidelines for the premises you will be entering.) We thank you in advance for your support, which will truly make a difference this Christmas.”

The Salvation Army will sort and distribute all donated gifts to children and families in the area through their contacts at social services.

A church and charity, The Salvation Army expresses its Christian faith by offering friendship, practical help and support to some of the most disadvantaged people in our communities.

During the pandemic, The Salvation Army is currently holding its services online and this will be the case for Advent and Christmas services too. All services can be accessed via their Facebook page or YouTube channel