The Salvation Army in Horsham is once again appealing for toys this year for disadvantaged families.
The new leaders of the Horsham and Crawley corps Majors Iain and Ann Stewart came to the church in Booth Way, Horsham in July and have been moved by the ‘hidden’ poverty in the town.
The couple moved here with their daughters Holly, 18 and Hannah, seven, from East Kilbride near Glasgow - a poverty stricken area with a lot of visible need.
They have now launched the Horsham appeal for new toys, books and gift cards for children and young people from new born up to age 16.
Ann said: “We have contacted 14 schools in Horsham and three schools have already come back with ten families who need help.
“People have said this is a posh area but there’s more poverty than people realise. Even things like school meals are £1 more a day than in East Kilbride.
“It was a new town and there’s a lot of council property, not as run down as some parts of Glasgow, but we helped 400 kids last year.”
Back in Horsham, the couple with the community and church hope to help hundreds more children this Christmas. Last year the Salvation Army here gave out about 200 parcels.
Ann said: “On December 17 to 19 we will be sorting out the toys so anyone who is available from 9.30am is welcome. We will also need volunteers drivers to take them to the schools to hand to parents.
People can drop new toys off at the Salvation Army Centre in Booth Way/Depot Road, Horsham or to Chloe’s charity shop in the Bishopric. For more information about the Salvation Army’s work call 01403 254624.