THE appeal to buy toys and gifts for hundreds of Bolton children is currently £3,000 short and Bolton Lions are asking the town’s residents for “one last push” to save Christmas.

The well-known service organisation is in the final week of delivering gifts to around 1,650 children of all ages across the borough. In the last week, they have received many toys and also had some generous cash gifts from Bolton’s business community.

But the appeal still has a shortfall that would mean hundreds of children aged from 11 to 16 won’t receive vouchers for gifts.

Ray Stafford, from the Lions, said: “People have already been so very kind in donating toys and money. But the demand this year is greater than ever and we simply don’t have enough funds to cover the costs for the vouchers all the older children need.

“We really hate the idea that youngsters will be disappointed so we are asking the Bolton public for one last push in donating whatever they can afford.

“No money goes out for administration of the appeal – every penny is used for toys and gifts for the children.”

Every year, these toys and gifts make a real difference to the lives of children and young people.

Clarendon Primary School is one of the schools that receives gifts for its pupils.

Deputy head Claire Caldwell said: “When we asked the children about Christmas and if they’ve enjoyed their holiday and what they have done with their families, we would find some children were often quiet and didn’t raise their hands.

“This has all changed. Now they can’t wait to tell us what Father Christmas brought them. They’re absolutely buzzing with excitement to share with us about the toys they’ve received.”

The Lions work with dozens of organisations like Urban Outreach and Bolton at Home as well as primary schools, nurseries and centres. They have a Just Giving page at

Collection points across the borough where new toys can be left are the Asda stores in Astley Bridge, Burnden and Farnworth;• Tesco Middlebrook; Southfields pub, Green Lane; Bolton Garden Centre, Wigan Road; Readey’s, Chorley Old Road, Hays Travel, Westhoughton and Buchanan’s Antiques, Horwich.