BOLTON people have rallied together to ensure needy children will receive gifts this Christmas.

The annual Bolton Lions Toy Appeal was thrown into jeopardy by coronavirus, after many club members were forced to shield, and some key fundraising events had to be cancelled.

However, a number of generous business owners, charities, and other groups have banded together to help the group provide gifts for the borough's poorest families.

John Crompton, an officer at the club, said: “Due to the restrictions caused by covid-19, the appeal this year will be predominantly the giving of vouchers for families to use in toy shops, sports shops and other stores for up to 1,800 children all around Bolton.

“We will accept new toys to distribute but we mainly want to buy vouchers as they offer greater choices for all age-groups and are far easier to distribute under the circumstances.

“This means, though, that we need to raise £30,000 so we are asking the people of Bolton to help us."

Bolton Action Group – which includes Greenhalghs, Carrs Pasties, and Bolton Wanderers Community Trust – the Bolton Family, Bolton at Home, Urban Outreach, and Bolton FM have all teamed up with the club to ensure the appeal goes ahead.

Although people have already stepped in to help, the charitable group has a long way to go before they reach their target.

Mr Crompton added: “We have already had a donation of £3,000 from the Bolton Guild of Help but we urgently need people to raise more money for us in any way they would like to.

“For example, one of our Lions is doing a bike ride totalling 300 miles to raise at least £1,000, to be doubled by his employer.

“We know this is a massive challenge – especially this year. But we also know that the people of Bolton will rise to it and support us, sharing the true spirit of Christmas as they have always done and ensuring that every child has gifts to open on December 25.”

Visit to donate to the appeal, or visit for more information about the club.