Kids from struggling County Durham families will have a little something to open on Christmas Day – thanks to the generosity of staff at Durham County Council.

Both elected councillors and ordinary council employees have been making sure that Christmas cheer will be spread throughout the county.

Councillors and staff have been donating new toys and gifts as part of an appeal run by the Salvation Army. The appeal aims to get Christmas presents to kids who might not normally receive one.

Councillors and employees were urged to buy an extra gift when doing their Christmas shopping, which they then donated to the Salvation Army’s appeal.

These items were collected at Durham County Council’s headquarters throughout December. The chairman of the council, Cllr John Lethbridge, recently presented them to the Salvation Army, whose volunteers will hand them out to disadvantaged families.

Cllr Lethbridge said, “I’m very happy that we’re continuing our annual tradition of helping the Salvation Army make Christmas special for youngsters by holding a toy collection.”

“It’s fantastic to see how generous our employees and elected members have been this year and to think of the joy these donations will bring to local families.”

Major Ian Fawcett, from the Salvation Army, said, “There has been a tremendous increase in the number of family referrals to the Salvation Army Toy Appeal.”

“Without the support and donations by schools, businesses and individuals, we would not be able to meet the needs of the families referred. We are so grateful for everyone’s support.”

You can learn more about the activities of the Salvation Army in Durham City at

(The featured image shows the chairman of Durham County Council, Cllr John Lethbridge, handing over the donated gifts to the Salvation Army’s Major Ian Fawcett. Also pictured is Cllr Jane Brown, cabinet member for social inclusion.)

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