There's still time to support Rochdale Borough Council's Christmas Toy Appeal, but you need to get your gifts in by Friday, 4 December 2020 or make cash donations online by Friday, 11 December 2020.
The appeal organised by Rochdale Borough Council's staff-run 'Giving Back' charity collects gifts from local residents and makes sure they reach the borough's less fortunate children in time for Christmas.
Due to the pandemic, organisers have had to come up with new ways of accepting support so for the first time you can donate cash online that will be used to buy Dippy the dinosaur gifts for local children. How to donate cash
The Natural History Museum's famous dinosaur visited Rochdale this year, giving the next generation of budding scientists and explorers a once in a lifetime opportunity to see and learn about a world famous icon, but due to the coronavirus not all children were able to see Dippy and not all were fortunate enough to be able to purchase a souvenir. As these gifts have already been quarantined the appeal can accept online donations right up until Friday, 11 December 2020.
You can also drop off gifts at collection points at Tesco Rochdale as well as Co-op stores in Milnrow, Castleton, Littleborough and Bamford Barista.
Local businesses have stepped up to help, donating toys, money, services or time to the appeal, including Action Together, Bellyflop TV, the Brass Knuckle Riders, Euro Options, JGM Agency, Graffic Detail, Hunter Price and Seddon Construction Ltd.
Council policy advisor Helen Walton, from the Giving Back charity, said there are many families who struggle at Christmas to buy presents and either can't give any or resort to loans:
"Particularly this year, people are finding themselves in very difficult circumstances and I don't think that situation is going to get any easier so it's more important than ever to help people who are less fortunate. We've had many kind donations so far but demand is higher than it's ever been so we still need more to give us chance of delivering our aim that every child in the borough wakes up on Christmas morning with a present waiting for them. "I know donating is a little different this year which is why we are accepting online cash donations from as little as £2 that we will use to buy toys as well as encouraging online delivery to make it easy to help even during these national restrictions."
Since 2015 the appeal has provided festive cheer for thousands of children and teenagers, with council staff collecting and distributing 2,500 toys last year.