Manchester and Salford children’s charity Wood Street Mission, which was founded in 1869, has been providing Christmas support to low income families in the region for over 150 years.
They’ve helped make sure that every child, no matter what their circumstances, wakes up on Christmas day with something special to open and a smile on their face.
In 2019, Wood Street was able to provide over 11,000 toys to 4000 children thanks to the generosity of local people and businesses, and the hours put in by the charity’s army of volunteers.
Not once, even through world wars and recessions, has Wood Street Mission failed to fulfil its Christmas appeal.
However, the ongoing COVID-19 crisis threw the project into doubt for the first time this year.
Social-distancing guidelines and limited space at the charity’s home on Wood Street (just off Deansgate and bordering Spinningfields) mean that the building is unable to house the amount of people and donations necessary to make the Christmas Appeal possible.
Wood Street Mission faced the unthinkable: thousands of children across Manchester and Salford waking up on Christmas morning without a single gift.
Thankfully, following an appeal on social media and a subsequent flurry of activity, Great Northern Warehouse has stepped in to be the lead drop of point and provide the space and resources needed to house the gifts collected to help over 1500 families this festive season.
The charity is now issuing an urgent call out for donations of new and packaged toys for children of all ages.
“It’s a great pleasure to be working alongside the team at Great Northern Warehouse,” said Des Lynch from Wood Street Mission.
“For such an iconic Manchester venue to be able to help and enable our Christmas project to go ahead is incredible.
“Because of the current situation and the social distancing measures in place, it would have been impossible for us to have delivered our Christmas project to the number of families that require assistance.
“This year more than ever, struggling families need our help and through our partnership with Great Northern we aim to make this Christmas, a special time, for as many local children as we possibly can.”
The Great Northern Gift Hub will open on 10th November – however donations can be made from today to the Wood Street Mission HQ.
Those unable to get to the city centre can order donations via Amazon Wishlists that will deliver the toys directly to the charity: 0-2 years Wishlist; 3-5 years Wishlist; 6-8 years Wishlist; 9-11 years Wishlist; 12-14 years Wishlist.
“We are so pleased to be able to offer space at Great Northern and support the incredible work that Wood Street Mission are doing with local families this Christmas.” said Mark Schofield from Great Northern Warehouse.
“Our team will be doing everything we can to support this essential project and bring some happiness at this incredibly challenging time.”
For more information on the charity, the Christmas drive, drop off points and how to donate as a business, visit woodstreetmission.org.uk/christmas.