Manchester children’s charity launches Christmas campaign to help struggling families

A Manchester children’s charity has launched a festive campaign to collect memories from people who have been helped by the charity in the past.

The Wood Street Mission, which has been giving out toys and food to local families at Christmas since the 1870s, launched the Post Your Memory campaign to help raise awareness about child poverty in Manchester today.

Roseanne Sweeney, Chief Executive of Wood Street Mission, said: “Over the years we have given out toys to tens of thousands of children many of whom decades later still have vivid memories of coming into Wood Street to queue up and get a much sought after doll or drum.”

So far there have been many fascinating posts that tell tales of times gone by, such as the examples below.

“My granny was a mill-worker but couldn’t always get work and if you were particularly hard-up at Christmas the kids would queue for a parcel. It was always an apple or an orange and a toy, my mum says.

There were always lovely dolls on display to be admired they but she never got one!”

“In the First World War my gran was desperate – no income as Grandad was on the front in Belgium. Christmas held no joy despite cleaning and taking in washing.

She sent the children to Wood Street Mission where they were given a meat pie each on Xmas day. I could cry for them now.”

But tales of such poverty are not a thing of the past, with Ms Sweeney highlighting the fact that there are still one in three local children ‘living in poverty’.

“Many find it hard to believe there is still need for our work today,” she added.

“Sadly there is with one in three local children living in poverty, and our Christmas project is still by far our largest.

“We hope that by sharing memories of their own experiences, whether happy or sad, it will help raise awareness about how hard life is at this time of year for struggling families.”

In the coming weeks the Wood Street Mission expects to hand out toys and food to over 2000 families and 4,500 children.

It will also be holding a Christmas party for families in Salford during Christmas week.

Supporters can share their memories online or by posting one of two specially designed postcards available in local libraries or from Wood Street Mission.

To post your memories online click here

Alternatively, you can request a postcode via email at [email protected] or by calling 0161 834 3140.

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