You’ve done it: Christmas Appeal tops £400,000 to gift 12,000 kids - VIDEO

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CHRISTMAS is back on for almost 12,000 needy children in the region thanks to over £400,000 of gifts donated by YOU, writes Graham Walker.

That’s the staggering and record-breaking total of this year’s Star backed Hallam FM & Magic AM Cash for Kids Christmas Appeal.

You've made their Christmas: Some of the thousands of gifts donated for more than 12,000 children to The Star backed Hallam FM & Magic AM Cash for Kids Christmas Appeal. Pictured  at Hallam FM, from left, Simon Brown, the appeal van driver, Nicola Farrell, charity manager, Michaella Langsdale, charity fundraiser and Ed Nell, Drivetime presenter.

You've made their Christmas: Some of the thousands of gifts donated for more than 12,000 children to The Star backed Hallam FM & Magic AM Cash for Kids Christmas Appeal. Pictured at Hallam FM, from left, Simon Brown, the appeal van driver, Nicola Farrell, charity manager, Michaella Langsdale, charity fundraiser and Ed Nell, Drivetime presenter.

It was launched just five weeks ago in a bid to ensure every child in the region wakes up with at least one gift on Christmas Day.

Social services and other referral organisations made requests this year on behalf of more than 11,000 children, all living in South Yorkshire.

The Cash for Kids Christmas Appeal, sponsored by Asda, P&A and Foresters, saw people donating gifts and cash at The Star shop in York Street, all Asda stores, Smyths Toy Superstore, Meadowhall, and Hallam FM and Magic AM studios.

It has also provided gifts to sick children and even rescued Christmas for house arson victim Sam Woodburn’s six children, Brandon, 14, Callum, 13, Travis, 12, Zak, 10 and Louis seven and Tilly, three.

Everything they had was lost in the Rotherham fire earlier this week but the Appeal stepped in with gifts.

Breakfast show presenter Big John said: “We are thrilled to be able to say you’ve done it. Once again thank you to everyone in South Yorkshire who has got involved.

“It’s been another amazing effort. It was looking for a little while that we weren’t going to do it.It was really slow at first. There was a lot of tension and panicking.

“There have been tears along the way. First tears of stress, then of happiness as we realised what we had achieved. We are overwhelmed.”

Hallam FM’s Ed Nell @ Drive said of helping Sam’s blaze family kids: “We’ve been taking calls from people keen to help the family. Our listeners have been pledging clothes, furniture and one man has even offered a house for them to stay in until they are back on their feet.”

Nicola Farrell, Hallam FM’ & Magic AM’s Cash For Kids charity manager, said: “a massive thank you to all our sponsors and supporters, your generosity is paramount to this appeal and without you it’s amazing to think so many children would have woken up to no presents this Christmas in South Yorkshire. You have kept the Christmas dream alive for so many needy children.

“With the help of listeners, Star readers and all our sponsors we have managed to provide gifts for almost 12,000 underprivileged children right across South Yorkshire.

“For one reason or another they wouldn’t get any presents at all this year without our Appeal.”

Most of the gifts and money was donated by our sponsors, individuals and with several companies also making substantial contributions.

But other fund-raising saw Big John @ Breakfast, Producer James and co-host Janine Jones dressed as naughty school kids to appear on stage during Sleeping Beauty at Sheffield’s Lyceum Theatre, winning a dare by Sheffield based jobs help company A4e to donate an 200 extra gifts.

Gilder’s Commercial Van Centre donated a VW Crafter van, branded by Signs Express Sheffield, to collect gifts.

There’s still time to donate - go online to www.hallamfm.co.uk/charity or call 0114 2091100.

Cash for Kids, which has raised more than £800,000 this year for poorly, disabled and underprivileged children in South Yorkshire, is looking for partners to work with in 2012. For more information, visit: {http:// www.hallamfm.co.uk/charity |www.hallamfm.co.uk/charity|visit hallamfm.co.uk/charity}.