Hartlepool shows its caring side again as hundreds back Christmas appeal

Hartlepool has showed its caring side yet again by supporting a Hartlepool Mail-backed campaign to provide presents for needy youngsters across town.

By Tom Patterson
Friday, 24th December 2021, 4:45 am
Mick Sumpter receiving Christmas gifts from Hartlepool resident Susan Kidson. Picture by FRANK REID

Hundreds of you responded to the annual Christmas Gift appeal by the Mail and the town’s MKM Building Supplies.

By donating almost 600 presents, you have made sure hundreds of youngsters in the area will wake up on Christmas Day to a gift they would otherwise not have received.

Your generosity – despite a global pandemic and economic uncertainty – has been praised by both the Mail and MKM bosses.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

MKM's Jane Plant with Sharon and Bernie from My Time Hub

Mick Sumpter, branch director at MKM, in Burn Road, where the presents were dropped off by shoppers, said: "It has another outstanding year, with hundreds of gifts, for hundreds of kids.

"I would like to say a huge thank you to people in Hartlepool and our customers of MKM. You’ve smashed it again.

"Thanks to your kindness we have been able to support local schools and charitable organisations all over the town.”

He added: “Talking with those groups who came to collect gifts, the general consensus was that this year had been hard.

Jane Plant with Mark from Lets Connect

"A teacher from one of the schools came back three times to MKM to collect gifts because she knew that certain families had nothing to give their children this Christmas.

"It just goes to show that gift appeals like ours – and others around the town – still can’t get to every family that need help.

“Again, thank you to everyone who has supported the appeal this year. Finally, can I give a big thank you to my colleague Jane Plant who every year co-ordinates the appeal.”

MKM was the drop off point for donations and also the pick up point for community groups and charities to come and collect the toys.

Jackie Gofton from Human Kind with MKM's Jane Plant

Staff worked hard to ensure that the presents were distributed in time for the big day on Saturday.

Hartlepool Mail editor Gavin Ledwith thanked MKM, the organisations and individuals collecting the presents on behalf of children and the people who donated them.

He added: “Every year we appeal to our readers to step up and help those who are less fortunate.

“This year, just like last Christmas, people have been asked to put what is going on in the world to one side, and make a difference to people who are worse off.

MKM's Jane Plant with Gill and Linda from Kingsley School.

"Once again, people in Hartlepool have responded magnificently and we cannot thank you enough for making the appeal the success that it is.”

“At what is a very difficult time, our readers have dug deep to give youngsters something special this Christmas.

"Our thank go out to you all and we wish you all an enjoyable holiday period yourselves.”

Among the organisations in the area which were helped with your donations to the appeal are Hartlepool Carers, The Kilmarnock Road Children’s Centre, Stranton Primary School, Kingsley Primary School, Rift House Primary School, Jesmond Gardens Primary School, My Time Hub, Human Kind, West View Primary School, North East Specialist Therapeutic Services, Lets Connect and The Belle View Centre.