Host of celebs back Shropshire festive gift appeal
A host of celebrities have thrown their weight behind this year's Christmas Gift Appeal which aims to spread a bit of joy among those who would otherwise be finding the festive period a difficult time.
Comedy actor John Challis, boxing legend Richie Woodhall, and former Springwatch presenter Iolo Williams are all backing the appeal, which is being held by the Shropshire Star and Storage King.
We are asking big-hearted Shropshire Star readers to donate gifts for youngsters and elderly people who otherwise might not receive any gifts this Christmas.
The gifts can be dropped off at either the Shropshire Star offices or Storage King's base at Battlefield Enterprise Centre in Shrewsbury.
John Challis, best known for his role as wide-boy car dealer Boycie in Only Fools and Horses, said he hoped readers would get behind the appeal.
The actor, who lives near Leintwardine, close to Craven Arms, said the campaign could bring joy to many during the festive season.
He said a previous campaign to seek toys from members of the public had been successful and had put a smile on the faces of many local children.
He said: "Christmas is a time for remembering those who are less fortunate and I am very pleased to support the Christmas Gift Appeal.
"I'd support people who want to donate presents and toys for children. Youngsters never want to feel left out, particularly at Christmas, and I hope that people will dig deep and be generous in their support.
"And it's great that the Shropshire Star and Storage King are also remembering the elderly. They are often forgotten at Christmas as people focus on youngsters. So it's really terrific that they are also being included.
"I'd encourage people to make appropriate donations to the appeal so that the elderly also feel special on Christmas Day.
"Many have been great servants of our country over many years and it's important that they are remembered and given reasons to be cheerful."
John, who has also starred in Benidorm and the BBC's recent remake of classic sitcom Are You Being Served?, added that he would be spending his Christmas appearing in a pantomime and was looking forward to entertaining crowds during the festive season.
Former world boxing champion Richie, who has lived in Telford for most of his life, said he was delighted to support the campaign.
"Donating toys for deprived children will bring a bit happiness where it's really needed and an unexpected gift to a lonely and vulnerable pensioner could make a Christmas very special indeed," he said.
Iolo, who lives near Newtown, said he was pleased to hear that the appeal was running for a second time to help those less fortunate.
"I would urge everyone to give generously," he said. "Christmas is a difficult time for those who have very little but together, we can help make a big difference."
- New gifts for both the young and the elderly can be dropped off at collection points at the Shropshire Star head office at Ketley Business Park, Waterloo Road, Telford, or at Storage King in Archers Way, Battlefield Enterprise Park Storage. Both locations have ample parking.
- There are further collection points at the Shropshire Star office in Bellstone, Shrewsbury, and at the Southwater One building in Telford town centre.