Campaign overwhelmed by flood of festive support

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THE County Times Caring at Christmas Campaign with the Salvation Army has revealed a desperate need for help in the district.

According to the Horsham Salvation Army church centre captain Ian Woodgate, the campaign run over the past five weeks has “shown Horsham at its best” with people giving toys, money, food generously and their time.

But it has also revealed a massive need in the district with schools putting forward families they know are in “desperate” need this Christmas.

Readers of The County Times have also put forward names of people they know who could benefit from The Salvation Army’s help.

Work that normally starts on Christmas Eve - wrapping presents for vulnerable families - started two weeks earlier this year. Ian Woodgate, Captain Horsham Salvation Army church said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support of this year’s Caring at Christmas Campaign, with The County Times, and sponsored by Southern Water.

“We have been able to reach people that we could not normally reach through the campaign with The County Times. This year we have over 50 people booked for Christmas Dinner, at an earlier stage than before, but there is always more room, and we want people to know this is a day for everyone, as we become one big family.

“We normally deliver parcels on Christmas Eve but this year we are taking them direct to schools because they can’t give us names.

“One school rang up and said they have 36 families on their ‘desperate’ list. Schools break up this week so that’s why there’s a major rush this week. It’s like a factory here. People from church have come in to help especially.”

Big needs this week:

• Drivers to get people to the church and back again (either or both) on Christmas Day.

• Donations of food for Christmas Day dinner.

• Donation of gifts for Christmas Day guests.

• Toys and gifts for children of every age group.

To read the full story buy this week’s Couty Times.