Appeal for donations to help others

Tony McVicker of Classic Footwear.
Tony McVicker of Classic Footwear.

An Alnwick author and businesswoman has launched a shoebox appeal to help those less fortunate.

Pam Swain wants to help those in the area who need support at Christmas time.

With help from Classic Footwear on Bondgate Within, she will be collecting shoebox hampers for the elderly, adults and children.

She said: “There are many families unable to cope in these difficult times. It takes very little to help, but means a great deal to those that receive them.

“There are many elderly and lonely people who have no one at Christmas and more and more families are struggling just to survive.

“It can happen so easily through no fault of our own.

“My own daughter and husband struggled last year in Northern Ireland after he lost his job. He could get no aid from the Government whatsoever as he had previously been self-employed.

“We had to call in to the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul for food parcels to feed them and their two small boys.

“It was through myself, friends and family that they were able provide Christmas for the boys.

“I never thought my own family would be on the receiving end like that, but it happens so easily. It is nothing to be ashamed of.”

Pam would like anyone who wants to help to donate parcels or items to be used in a hamper to Classic Footwear, who have offered to donate shoeboxes and collect in items for the cause.

Volunteers are also needed to help with leafleting and other jobs.

Pam added: “Let us all get behind this and provide a lovely Christmas for those in need.

“It takes so little to pay it forward and yet, it means so much.”

Any kind of item can be put in a shoebox, food items should be unopened and long-dated.

Businesses can also help by offering vouchers or offers for those who need it.

Pam said: “Our local food bank is working with me and they have had over 500 families needing their help in the last 12 months. Any help would be much appreciated.”

If you know of an elderly person who will be alone this Christmas, or a struggling family or individual, email or contact 07955 895089.