CHRISTMAS is back on for 14,300 of the region’s most needy children – and it’s all thanks to you, writes Graham Walker.
More than half a million pounds of cash and gifts has been donated to The Star-backed Hallam FM and Magic AM Cash for Kids Mission Christmas appeal. A record-breaking £503,300 was being celebrated today.
The appeal was launched six weeks ago to ensure every child in the region gets at least one gift on Christmas Day.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our video report. Social services and other referral organisations made requests on behalf of 14,300 of South Yorkshire’s most deprived children – up from 13,159 last year.
Hallam FM Breakfast show presenter Big John, the face of the appeal, said: “It’s Mission accomplished. Thanks for another amazing year.”
The appeal had 60 drop-off points including The Star offices and transport interchanges.
Social services and other referral organisations made requests this year on behalf of 14,300 deprived children – up from 13,159 last year.
It meant an extra £53,000 of cash and gifts was required to meet the demand.
With more families than ever before living on the poverty line, appeal chiefs had more requests from organisations such as Barnado’s, Sheffield Women’s Aid and refuges.
But dreams will now come true thanks to the support from the people and businesses of South Yorkshire.
Backing the appeal were Sheffield’s X Factor sensation Lucy Spraggan, comedian Keith Lemon, Madness star Suggs and many more local and national celebrities.
Highlights included live broadcasts at Sytner BMW and Mini dealership, with their bake-off and raffle, coffee mornings at Guildford Grange, and events at Meadowhall. The Co-operative Food Company alone donated over 1,188 Christmas selection boxes.
Samantha Travis, charity manager Hallam FM and Magic AM’s Cash for Kids, said: “Our mission was to ensure no child in South Yorkshire was at risk of waking up on Christmas morning to nothing. And with lots of help we’ve done it.
“We want to say a massive thank you to everyone. Cash For Kids has raised a total of over £815,000 in its work throughout the year to support thousands of local needy children in South Yorkshire.”
The appeal was sponsored by Travel South Yorkshire, international financial services organisation Foresters and Robrook design and print.
Travel South Yorkshire, run by the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, had collections in stations and helped to fund a marketing campaign.
SYPTE Director General David Brown said: “We were delighted to drive home the message with The Star, Hallam FM and Magic AM. Response from the public has been amazing. This was a great campaign to be involved in.”