PossAbilities takes over annual Heywood Christmas Toy Appeal

Date published: 22 October 2021

Heywood social enterprise PossAbilities has stepped in to save the annual Christmas Toy Appeal after its founder Martyn Allen announced he was stepping back from the initiative.

Earlier this week, Mr Allen, owner of Shaw’s Opticians on Market Street, said he would no longer be continuing the successful appeal, due to time constraints and lack of storage space.

He originally founded the appeal to help struggling families give their children a much happier Christmas after hearing about local families struggling to afford Christmas presents.

However, PossAbilities, which supports vulnerable people, has stepped in to take over the appeal, which gives toys to thousands of local children.

The team will be working with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, Sure Start and Rochdale Council to help identify families in need.

In a post on social media on Thursday 21 October, the social enterprise wrote: “This year PossAbilities will be taking over Heywood’s Toy Appeal from Martyn at Shaw Opticians; our aim is to provide children across the borough with the Christmas they deserve.

“Due to the enormity of the appeal, we cannot accept second-hand gifts however feel free to post these toys on the Random Acts of Kindness Middleton & Surrounding Areas group.”

Jane Holland, Community Co-ordinator at PossAbilities said: “We are delighted to be able to continue this great local tradition and delighted that Martyn will be  working with us. Because of Covid, we are appealing for donations of new boxed toys only.

“We’ll be working with Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, Sure Start and Rochdale Council to identify families in need, who will benefit from the appeal. Local people have been so kind in the past with their donations, so let’s make this the best year ever.”

Mr Allen said: “It’s great that PossAbilities are able to keep this great initiative going and I’m really looking forward to supporting them.

“Thanks must go to all of the people who have helped in the past, especially to Kavanagh and Coates who have generously provided a room to store and distribute the donations.

“After a tough eighteen months, let’s bring some Christmas cheer to those who need it most.”

Donations will be accepted from Monday 25 October until Friday 17 December. New or packaged toy donations can be dropped off at the Cherwell Centre, Heywood, OL10 4SY or Barclays Bank, 2 Church Street, Heywood, OL10 1LN.

For more information contact Jane Holland via email jane.holland@possabilities.org.uk or call 07866 034654

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing news@rochdaleonline.co.uk
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email news@rochdaleonline.co.uk or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online