What a response to our food appeal

Food Bank: Cllr Kevin Gillott, library manager Judith Hawcroft and library assistant Pauline Leonard and Reporter Paul Lynch.
Food Bank: Cllr Kevin Gillott, library manager Judith Hawcroft and library assistant Pauline Leonard and Reporter Paul Lynch.

More than 200 children look forward to a brighter Christmas - thanks to your donations to the Feed Our Families appeal.

Back at the start of November we called on our readers to hand over whatever parcels of dried and tinned food they could to help needy families in the area through the festive season.

And we also called on you to donate any toys, board games and gifts for youngsters - so that those homes could enjoy just some of the trappings of Christmas. And the response has been overwhelming.

In six weeks you have dropped in more than 80 bags - some of which are ready to burst bin-liners – in at our selected drop-off areas.

The goods are soon to make their way to homes around Ripley, Heanor and Alfreton as part of the Ripley churcheyearly Christmas scheme.

Envoy for Ripley’s Salvation Army Kevin Wibberley, says 80 families will receive a bumper Christmas parcel from the scheme this year thanks to your donations.

He said: “The response has been absolutely overwhelming –people have been so generous it’s untrue.”

Mr Wibberley said each home, referred to the Salvation Army through various agencies, will receive packages appropriate to the make-up of the family.

And thanks to the range of gifts readers dropped off - from brand new board games to stuffed toys, action figures and dolls - young boys and girls should get a gift just right for them. In many homes it will be the only present they receive this year.

Mr Wibberley said: “We’ve already got 200 children listed with us, who it will be able to help over Christmas.

“That’s an awful lot of happiness and joy people have brought to a lot of families.

“This really goes along with the true spirit of Christmas, which is love and giving.

“We just can’t say thank you enough to all those people that made it possible.”

Mr Wibberley also extended a big thank you to the staff at libraries in Ripley, Heanor and Alfreton, who have been so helpful in agreeing to act as a drop-off point for all your donations.

Manageress of Ripley Library on Grosvenor Road, Judith Hawcroft said people took to the appeal right from day one.

She said: “The first day it launched we had a phenomenal response - so much so, we filled up the all the space we set to one side.

“We’ve been absolutely blown away by the generosity of the people in Ripley.”

Judith said only this week one extraordinarily generous woman brought in a number of toys she had only just bought from the shops.

“It’s lovely that we’ve got such a strong community that have gone out of their way to do this.”

Senior library manager for Ripley, Heanor and Alfreton Julie Stirland, said: “The response at Alfreton has been fantastic and the library is pleased to have been a part of it. “

We’ve had a big response at Heanor too.

“When you consider Heanor library is out of the town centre, it shows how people have really gone out of their way to donate.”