Thank you for your support after amazing response to appeal

Blackpool Citizen: Staff from Blackpool Council's benefits office Kate Raworth, Diane Sherratt and Susan Willis Staff from Blackpool Council's benefits office Kate Raworth, Diane Sherratt and Susan Willis

The Citizen's Tins and Toys appeal has surpassed all expectations and is set to have an enormous impact on families affected by domestic abuse.

Donations from readers and the business community have flooded in since the launch in October and resulted in a lorry load of donations being distributed to Fylde Coast Womens' Aid, (FCWA).

This year alone 2642 women have accessed FCWA for support. They have an estimated 1,700 children and young people reliant on them.

The organisation says the brand new toys, food and toiletries donated is the biggest single boost of its kind they have ever received. And the donations are sure to have a massive impact, not only through the festive period, but well into the new year.

Tina Hibbard, assistant service manager at FCWA, said: "We are simply overwhelmed.

"Thank you to all the people and organisations of Blackpool and the Fylde that have so generously given to the Tins and Toys appeal.

"The sheer amount of food, toys and toiletries we have received is absolutely breathtaking.

"I just want to let all the people know who have donated to the appeal, that the donations will have a huge impact on many women and children's lives making their Christmas much easier and hopefully happier.

"All the children and women we work with will receive gifts."

FCWA is an independent voluntary organisation and has been in existence since 1991. It provides services to support women and children who have or are experiencing domestic abuse in Fylde, Wyre and Blackpool.

It runs two refuges and a telephone helpline, and also provides outreach support and counselling services.

The huge response to the appeal was evident from the launch in October, with scores of people from all over Fylde handing in their donations at the Citizen's Clifton Street office in Blackpool.

Many in the business community also proved that they are willing to reach out a helping hand to families in crisis in the Fylde.

Among the contributors were, Gamestation, Toys4U, Napthen's Solicitors and the 80 staff of Blackpool Council's benefits office, who chose Tins and Toys as their Christmas appeal.

The staff at 21st Century Windows, Poulton, and their suppliers also provided a huge amount of donations and kindly provided a lorry to transport the goods to FCWA.

Citizen editor, Gill Ellis, said: "This year is the first time Tins and Toys has run in the Fylde area. We are stunned and heartened at the volume of contributions which have come from the whole spectrum of the community.

"All those who have given can be sure that their generosity will have an impact on many families."

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