A mountain of new toys has been collected by customers on the Work Programme in Wellingborough to bring some Christmas cheer to local children who might otherwise go without.

A mountain of new toys is handed over to Salvation Army’s Christmas Present Appeal – thanks to a chance meeting by a group of jobseekers on a training programme.

Julian Griffin (54), Linda Spolton, (60), Michelle O’Brien, (28), and Jacqui Keen (44) drummed up support for the appeal while working with training and employment specialist PeoplePlus in Wellingborough.

Their efforts to collect hundreds of new toys, games and books donated by the public now means that many people in need in Kettering and Wellingborough will wake up to presents on Christmas Day.

The toys went on display at our offices in Sheep Street, before being handed over to Derek Miller from The Salvation Army.

Claire Harrison, Business Manager at PeoplePlus, said:

The idea of collecting for the appeal grew from a conversation between some of the participants on one of our training courses, and they’ve gone on to do a fantastic job.

“The commitment they’ve shown, including running a stall in the shopping centre and handing out flyers, has been nothing short of inspiring. We are very grateful to everyone who contributed gifts for the appeal.”

As the largest provider of the Work Programme, the Government’s back to work scheme, we work with partners Mayday Trust and Wing Training in Northamptonshire to offer specialist training to the most disadvantaged jobseekers in the labour market to help them build confidence and develop their skills.