Big hearted bin men have a new team of helpers this year to make Christmas special for Salford’s children.
Last year Salford City Council crews asked residents to leave a brand new gift out with their bins to donate to children who might otherwise miss out.
Kind hearted Salfordians donated around 5,000 items worth an estimated £25,000 which were distributed to dozens of local charities.
This year the Rotary in Worsley has stepped in to support the appeal by volunteering to sort and distribute the gifts.
City Mayor Paul Dennett said: “We were overwhelmed by people’s kindness last year and it really helped to make Christmas special for so many children and young people.
“I’m delighted Rotary has come on board this year to help as the response was incredible last year. They have a superb track record of giving back to the local community particularly at Christmas so their support is very much appreciated.
“A football, some new gloves, some cosmetics or a book for teenagers need not cost much but will be priceless to the girl or boy who receives them and shows the whole city is thinking of them at Christmas.”
Tony Clayson, President of Rotary in Worsley said: “Rotary is committed to doing all it can for the benefit of our community and when we saw the appeal last year we thought it was a brilliant idea.
“Following on from the success of our recent 'Wrap Up Salford' coat donation project we are delighted to support our big hearted Salford bin men in spreading Christmas cheer by helping to sort and distribute donated gifts to children who might otherwise miss out.”
The request is for new items only for the safety and dignity of the children. Residents are asked to put unwrapped gifts suitable for nought to 16 year olds out with any bin or food caddy being collected between Tuesday 3 December and Friday 6 December. Items can also be handed to the bin crews as they do their normal round that week.
Last year donations included cosmetics, shower gel, selection boxes, dolls, teddies, baby items, hand knitted hats, games, books and sports equipment including a full sized table top football game.
The idea came from refuse collector Sam Barry, who is also the Unison convenor. Unison, GMB and Unite are sponsoring red high visibility jackets and Santa hats for the crews to wear during the week of the collection.
Sam said: “We have over 110,000 households on our weekly rounds so if even half of them bought just one extra, small present to donate to this appeal it would make such a difference to so many struggling families.”
Gifts can also be dropped off at Salford City UNISON’s branch office, 443-445 Chorley Road, Swinton, M27 9LQ between 9am to 5pm, Monday 2 December to Friday 7 December.