Heartwarming support for Voluntary Action Rutland appeal

Gifts donated to Voluntary Action Rutland's Christmas appeal 2015. Kevin O'Brien, Dawn Citrine, Richard Auciello, Jim Freeborough, Marie Pears and Rob Persani.''Photo: Alan Walters MSMP-15-12-15-aw002 EMN-151216-144453001

Gifts donated to Voluntary Action Rutland's Christmas appeal 2015. Kevin O'Brien, Dawn Citrine, Richard Auciello, Jim Freeborough, Marie Pears and Rob Persani.''Photo: Alan Walters MSMP-15-12-15-aw002 EMN-151216-144453001

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Volunteers from a group in Rutland have spent the week distributing toys and gifts as part of their annual festive appeal.

Voluntary Action Rutland came to the end of their appeal last week and began distributing gifts on Monday.

According to Richard Auciello, centre manager at Voluntary Action Rutland, local organisations such as Social Services Team, Age UK, Community Agents and the Rutland Foodbank are among those receiving the gifts collected this year.

He said: “For more than 10 years Voluntary Action Rutland has run a Christmas toy appeal for children and families that are less fortunate, or that have encountered great hardship.

“The appeal relies on the support of the public and several local businesses and organisations.”

He added: “In a time of financial downturn many families need additional help. It’sheartwarming to see that the local community have donated hundreds of gifts for this great cause.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the local generosity and continued support from Kevin O’Brien of Gaol Street, Oakham who has been collecting toys for several years, and also opened his doors as a drop­off point for donations”

Kevin O’Brien Gas tweeted on December 7: “Don’t forget to drop any toys off at the shop, been quite a few already so big thanks”

Rutland Radio have been involved this year, to promote the appeal on a larger scale and get toys and gifts for all ages.

Richard added: “We’re also very pleased to say that any items that are left over will be distributed between some of the larger national organisations, such as Help the Homeless, Red Cross/Refugee crisis appeal and children’s wards at some of the larger hospitals.”

Richard said he was indebted to the community for their support.

He added: “Everyone at VAR would like to thank Rutland Radio, Kevin O’Brien gas fitters, Here to Help Others, and all those members of the community for their support in making this appeal a huge success!”

○ Have you run an appeal to help others this Christmas? Tell us and we’ll feature your story in next week’s festive edition of the Mercury, out on Christmas Eve. Call the newsdesk on 01780 758951 or e-mail smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk.