Spread the joy this Christmas by giving a toy

Councillor Paul Kelly and Martine Nolan launch the Give a Toy appeal
Councillor Paul Kelly and Martine Nolan launch the Give a Toy appeal

An appeal to collect and deliver toys to families who struggle at Christmas is being spearheaded by North Lanarkshire Council.

In conjunction with Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire, the council is appealing to its staff and local residents to ‘Give a toy - spread the joy’, as part of an eight-stop toy giveaway tour across the area.

The idea is the brainchild of community volunteer Martine Nolan who has carried out an appeal in the Motherwell and Wishaw areas over the last couple of years helping around 400 families.

She approached the council’s depute leader Councillor Paul Kelly for help to make the toy appeal even bigger and better this year, resulting in the council-wide toy drop.

Councillor Kelly is now asking the people of North Lanarkshire to join in and donate what they can to help put a smile on a child’s face.

He said: “For many children in our community, this time of year is sometimes not an easy or happy time, with presents being a luxury some families just can’t afford.

“We are looking for the support of the public to help us spread the true spirit of the season and give a gift to a child who may not otherwise receive anything.”

All toys are welcome for ages 0-18 including board games, soft toys, bikes/scooters, themed toys, arts and crafts or video games, although everything has to have all the correct pieces and should be unwrapped.

For safety reasons electrical or battery goods or fidget spinners can’t be accepted. Families will then be able to visit one of the toy giveaway events.

Martine said, “We’ve really made a difference to the lives of children with our previous appeals and it’s a wonderful idea for the council to take the appeal on board.

“We’ve arranged drop off days at venues across North Lanarkshire for people to deposit toys and I’m sure people will take time to look out suitable items for the giveaway.

“If you’d like to make a donation to the ‘Give a toy – spread the joy’ appeal just come along to one of the drop-off locations.”

This year the drop-off days will take place at:

Storehouse Church, Kilsyth, on November 21 and 23 from 6-8pm.

Wishaw CentrePoint, Gowkthrapple, from November 27-30 at any time and December 2, from 3-7pm.

Cumbernauld Freedom City Church Centre on November 21 and 28 from 7-9pm and November 23 and 30 from 6-9pm.

Forgewood Community Centre, Motherwell, from December 4-7 and at any time and December 9 from 3-7pm.

Coatbridge Kings Church on November 21, 24 and 28 and December 1, 5, 8 and 12 from 10-noon and November 26 and December 3 and 10 from 13.30-1.30pm.

Shotts Leisure Centre on December 11-15 at any time.

Orbiston Neighbourhood Centre, Bellshill, from December 11-13 from 10am-4pm.