Manchester children’s charity Wood Street Mission has launched its programme of Christmas activities for local families.
The charity – which has been helping families at Christmas time since the 1870s – will be running a Christmas community shop over the next three weeks where parents living on a low income can shop for presents for their children with points-based credit, as well as food and festive treats.
It is also organising two toy fairs in community venues in Gorton and Langworthy, both areas of high deprivation, and a huge children’s party in a city centre location the weekend before Christmas.
Roseanne Sweeney, chief executive of Wood Street Mission, said:
“Christmas is a difficult and stressful time of year for families who are struggling financially and often dread the expense and expectations attached to the season.”
“Our projects are aimed at helping alleviate the financial burden and bringing some festive cheer to kids whose parents can’t afford to buy them the toys and treats their peers take for granted.”
The charity’s Christmas community shop, which will be stocked full of donated goods, is expected to have over 1000 customers over the next three weeks. Almost 400 corporate volunteers from neighbouring businesses will work in the shop, alongside the charity’s small staff team. Overall, the charity will provide toys, food and entertainment to over 2,000 families and 4,500 children.
Volunteers from BNY Mellon, the global investments company, are helping out during the first week of the shop.
Matt Wells, Manchester site executive at BNY Mellon, said: “Wood Street Mission offers essential support for families across Manchester and Salford and as long-standing partners, we’re proud to support this year’s Christmas appeal. Our team of volunteers will staff the shop for the whole of the first week, to ensure gifts donated, are packed and given to those in need.”