A Horwich businessman was so moved by the Bolton News’ article about the Bolton Lions’ Christmas appeal that he has donated £20,000 towards children’s gifts.

Mr Simon Baker is Contracts Manager of construction and civil engineering specialists Ellenby Construction Co Ltd. It is based at the Stirling Industrial Estate in Chorley New Road and is celebrating 50 years in business this year.

He read about the launch of the Bolton Lions’ annual appeal - later repeated on Bolton FM - which provides hundreds of toys and gifts for local children who might otherwise have little on Christmas morning.

The appeal has been running for more than 40 years but the current cost of living crisis means unprecedented demand on the service organization and they needed to raise at least £24,000 this year.

Last year, more than 7,800 toys were distributed to children aged from 0 to 11 years and 431 local children aged 12 to 17 each received a £30 gift voucher.

This year, the appeal has already received referrals for more than 1,730 children from over 45 local organisations including schools, health teams, children’s social care and partner charities. As a result, the Lions need to source at least 8,000 toys.

Mr Baker responded with his donation because he believed it was important “to support a local charity which is supporting over 900 Bolton families with toys and gifts this Christmas.”

A delighted Bolton Lions’ president Dr Dipankar Mukherjee welcomed Mr Baker on a visit to the appeal’s distribution hub.

Dr Mukherjee said that Mr Baker’s generous donation “would ensure every child referred to the appeal would - in conjunction with all the donations from the people of Bolton, local companies and retailers – receive gifts.”

Bolton News’ Editor and Regional Group Editor Richard Duggan described Mr Baker’s donation as “wonderful” and praised the businessman’s generous response to the article.

He stated: “What the Lions achieve with this appeal is amazing and to have such a practical helping hand towards their goal I’m sure helps make it all worthwhile.”

The Lions have set up collection points across Bolton which are at:


• Asda, Astley Bridge, Moss Bank Way, Astley Bridge, BL1 8QG

• Asda, Middlebrook, Middlebrook Retail Park, Horwich, BL6 6JA

• Asda Burnden Park, Manchester Road, Burnden, BL3 2QS

• Asda Farnworth, Brackley Street, Farnworth, BL4 9DT

• Tesco Middlebrook, Mansell Way, Horwich, BL6 6JS

• Southfields, 19 Green Lane, Bolton, BL3 2EE

• Bolton Garden Centre, Wigan Road, Deane, BL3 4RD

• Readey’s, 428 Chorley Old Road, BL1 6AG

• Hays Travel, 64 Market Street, Westhoughton, BL5 3AZ

• Hays Travel, 72 Winter Hey Lane, Horwich, BL6 7NZ

• Buchanan’s Antiques, 37 Winter Hey Lane, Horwich, BL6 7AD

• TSB, 55-59 Deansgate, Bolton, BL1 1HQ

• Bolton CVS, Bold Street, Bolton, BL1 1LS

• The Beaumont Arms, Armadale Road, Bolton, BL3 4XB

• Bolton FM, Bolton Market, Ashburner Street, BL1 1TQ

• Hair Craft, 3 Derwent Road, Bolton, BL4 0QE

• Breaking Barriers, 1st Floor, Bolton Market Place

• The Place, Knowsley Street, Bolton, BL1 2AR

• Specsavers, 35 The Linkway, Middlebrook, Retail Park, BL6 6JA

• Specsavers, 27-29 Victoria Square, Bolton, BL1 1RJ

• Specsavers, Sainsbury’s, Trinity Street, Bolton, BL3 6DH

Fred Hamer Funeral Services at-

• 504 Chorley Old Rd , Bolton BL1 6AB

• 243-245 Tonge Moor Rd , Bolton BL2

• Gibson House, 335 St Helens Road , Bolton BL3 3QD