Thursday, 15 December 2011

Together Trust Christmas appeal

Last Sunday saw a familiar sight at the Together Trust Central Offices in Cheadle. Roaring down the road on motorbikes came around a hundred Santa’s, elves and Christmas fairies, members of the Roughley's Bikers, arriving to distribute presents to the charity. The Roughley’s Bikers’ present drop has been an annual occurrence for the last ten years, and has become a well-loved tradition for the children and young people at the Together Trust. 

Roughley's Bikers dropping off presents at the Together Trust, 2011

The Together Trust has a Christmas gift appeal every year which is designed to ensure that every young person supported by the Together Trust receives a gift for Christmas. With some 1,300 children, young people and adults to cater for it can seem a daunting task but, as ever, thanks to the generosity of local people, companies and organisations we become overwhelmed with toys and gifts.

The Christmas gift appeal in its various guises has been a constant fundraiser for the charity. In our early days we made appeals to the local community to ensure that the children in our homes all had a gift from Santa every year and that Christmas dinner lay in every child’s stomach before Christmas day was over.
Christmas leaflet appealing for help

This appeal was in the form of promotional leaflets or within the Refuge’s monthly magazine, 'The Children’s Haven' or 'The Christian Worker';

Christmas Needs at the Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges
(taken from The Christian Worker 1886)

“Warm clothing of all kinds, especially flannels; many of our children are young and weak and from their previous neglected lives cannot stand the cold, damp weather.”

“Christmas dinners for over 300 boys and girls.” 

“Our doctor begs that an appeal may be inserted in this column for funds to supply two of our boys with a wooden leg. He does not like to see them hobbling about on crutches...” 

 Annual Bazaar at Houldsworth Hall, Manchester, c.1930 (Ref PH/1/6/14)

In 1882 an annual bazaar was set up by Mrs Shaw, wife of one of the charity’s founders, to raise money for the Refuge at Christmas. She enlisted the sympathy and cooperation of several ladies to arrange a sale of work in the old Refuge Hall at Strangeways and later at Houldsworth Hall in Manchester. This continued for many years raising money on behalf of the charity. 

Next week some Christmas stories from ye olde days...

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