Thank You!

Lord Graham Kirkham, founder of DFS.
Lord Graham Kirkham, founder of DFS.

A CAMPAIGN to bring Christmas cheer to hundreds of under-privileged youngsters has got off to a flying start with business tycoon Lord Kirkham pledging £6,000.

The Free Press has teamed up with the Salvation Army for its annual appeal after it was revealed that around 600 youngsters in Doncaster face the prospect of having nothing to unwrap on Christmas morning.

And our campaign has struck a chord with the former DFS boss who has made the largest contribution ever made to the appeal, according to Captain Anne Crane, leader of Doncaster’s Salvation Army.

“It is so very generous of him. We have never ever had such a generous gift. We are so grateful,” she said.

Lord Kirkham grew up in Edlington before becoming a billionaire through his DFS empire, and now lives in Sprotbrough.

He told the Free Press: “I have always been keen to help children and young people – particularly those who are disadvantaged. I was adopted myself at a few weeks old.”

Another celebrity putting his name to the appeal is double world darts champion Dennis Priestley, from Mexborough. Elected mayor Peter Davies has also pledged his support.

Presents have started to be dropped off at collection points in Superdrug in Waterdale and the Frenchgate Centre, but we still need your help to collect 600 presents to make Christmas sparkle for these children.

Until December 16, members of the public are invited to drop off unwrapped, new, gifts for children aged 0 to 16, or to the Salvation Army’s Lakeside Community Church, in Booth Avenue, near The Dome. Alternatively Priory Methodist Church, in Printing Office Street will be collecting presents between 10am and noon on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

The gifts will be then be wrapped and distributed to more than 600 vulnerable children and families in Doncaster through The Salvation Army’s own networks, community groups and social services.

All donations are welcome, however food items and used products are not appropriate.

Suggested gift list for children and young people

l Children aged 0-three years: soft toys, colourful and fun educational toys, cot mobiles, baby clothes, bath toys, CDs of suitable music and nursery rhymes.

l Children age three to five: books, dressing up clothes, cars, lorries, dolls, action figures and soft toys, colourful and fun educational toys, CDs (music, stories and nursery rhymes), suitable DVDS, colouring sets, pencils, crayons, books, puzzles, footballs.

l Children age five to nine: dolls and action figures, educational games and toys, stationery (colouring sets, pencils, crayons, school sets), CDs and family friendly DVDs, books, puzzles, wordsearch, crosswords, skateboards, sports equipment and clothing

l Children aged nine to 12 games and toys, sports equipment and clothing, stationery, CDs, DVDs, books, T-shirts, hair ornaments, gloves, scarves, hats

l Children aged 13 to 16: CDs, DVDs, books, toiletries (please try to ensure non-allergic ingredients if possible), gloves, scarves, hats and other fashion accessories