Firefighters’ mission to help disadvantaged children this Christmas

Present drop off points are at a number of stations across West Yorkshire including  Wakefield, Cleckheaton and Dewsbury.
Present drop off points are at a number of stations across West Yorkshire including Wakefield, Cleckheaton and Dewsbury.

For the second year running West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) are working together with Radio Aire to support the largest annual Christmas toy appeal in the UK, Mission Christmas.

The appeal, run by the charity Cash for Kids, is asking the general public to donate brand new, unwrapped gifts for a children aged 0-18.

The gifts will then be redistributed to disadvantaged local children throughout West Yorkshire to make their Christmas morning special.

End Child Poverty have published new figures for 2016 revealing around 320,000 children in Yorkshire and the Humber live in poverty, with Leeds Central featuring seventh amongst twenty parliamentary constituencies with the highest levels of child poverty.

Last year Mission Christmas raised around £1.1 million in gifts and cash and supported over 22,000 local children.

WYFRS will be once again offering a number of fire stations to act as drop off points for these gifts between the hours of 12pm and 2pm, and 5pm and 7pm each day.

The fire stations that will be involved are: Wakefield, Cleckheaton, Dewsbury, Bradford, Leeds, Huddersfield, Killingbeck, Hunslet, Moortown, Shipley and Garforth.

Gifts must be unwrapped and in original packaging and we ask that members of the public do not leave any items outside the fire station if no-one is available to accept them.

The last date to drop-off gifts at the fire stations will be Friday, December 16, to allow Cash for Kids to collect, sort and distribute the presents the following week.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Dave Walton, said: “After such an amazing response in 2015, it’s wonderful to be a part of this heart-warming appeal for the second year running.

“Mission Christmas makes such a difference to those children who are at risk of waking up to nothing on Christmas Day. We would encourage the people of West Yorkshire to buy just one extra present this Christmas and drop it off at one of our fire stations, where we will look after it before the gifts are collected by Father Christmas and his helpers!”

Lauren Scarth, Charity Executive, said: “Radio Aire’s Cash for Kids are delighted to have West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service backing our campaign for a second year. Having the fire stations on-board for members of the public to drop off their gifts is fantastic and will help ensure that we provide gifts to all of the needy children in West Yorkshire.”