Hundreds of donations to Christmas appeals

George and Jan Hetherington collect some of the Christmas presents donated by Mercury readers for distribution'Photo: MSMP191212-100js
George and Jan Hetherington collect some of the Christmas presents donated by Mercury readers for distribution'Photo: MSMP191212-100js
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Gifts are being handed out to people of all ages across the Mercury area after the public responded in huge numbers to several Christmas appeals.

Fundraising groups and businesses in Stamford, Bourne, the Deepings and Rutland asked people to think of those less fortunate than themselves.

The Rotary Clubs of Stamford St Martins and Uppingham both held Christmas tree appeals.

They placed tags with the age and gender of a child on trees in businesses, health facilities and other locations and asked people to bring back a gift worth £5 to £10.

One tree was placed in the Mercury office and Stamford St Martin’s rotarians George and Jan Hetherington made three trips to pick up presents.

George said: “We collected more than 200 presents from Stamford alone. It’s great to see people donating.”

The Stamford club is supporting the South West Lincolnshire branch of Home-Start, Peterborough Family Action, The Rudolf Appeal, Boston Pilgrim Hospital, the mother and baby unit at Peterborough Prison and children with Down’s syndrome.

The Uppingham club is supporting Home-Start in Melton Mowbray, which also covers Rutland.

Scallyways nursery in Cold Overton Road, Oakham, asked parents and staff to donate items to Stamford Foodbank.

Stamford Independent Travel in St Paul’s Street has also been supporting Home-Start with a Santa’s Suitcase appeal.

Rutland Lions asked shoppers at Tesco in Oakham and the Co-op stores in Oakham and Uppingham to buy an extra seasonal food item during their weekly shop.

The food was split into 325 parcels which are being distributed around Rutland.

Presents were collected at Kevin O’Brien Gas Services in Gaol Street, Oakham.

The gifts have now been given to Voluntary Action Rutland to distribute around the county.

Stamford Veterinary Centre held a Christmas shoebox appeal to collect items for dog and cat rescue centres.

Youngsters at Langham Primary School donated gifts to Operation Christmas Child, which supports children in need across the world.

Pupils at Bourne Grammar School and Bourne Academy decided to help the elderly.

Bourne Grammar sixthformers gave food boxes out to elderly Bourne residents, while Bourne Academy pupils delivered hampers to the Butterfield Centre.

The Bourne branch of the Salvation Army collected presents for children, families and older people who have little or nothing this winter.

Staff from Anglia Co-operative Travel, which has branches in Bourne and Market Deeping, presented gifts to dozens of children in Peterborough City Hospital on Wednesday after the best ever response to its Santa’s Suitcase toy appeal.

And Paul Brown and Nicola Mitchell, who run a branch of catalogue company Kleeneze from Paul’s Stamford home, gave £1,400 worth of toys to Barnardo’s after donations from their customers.

Organisers of all the appeals thanked everyone who supported them.