A COMPANY of Aycliffe Business Park supported the Salvation Army’s drive to provide gifts for children who might otherwise have nothing to open on Christmas morning.

A mother herself, Stephanie Lane, director of LED Supply & Fit was inspired to support the campaign after hearing fewer companies were taking this year, part due to Covid. That, combined with the effect that this year has had on so many people, spurred her into action.

She said: “The campaign has been running for a number of years, but I hadn’t heard about it on the radio this year. I decided to look into it, discovered that fewer companies were getting behind it and wanted to help. I couldn’t bear the thought of any child not having a present on Christmas Day."

LED Supply & Fit and G & B Electrical Contractors both contributed, and Ms Lane contacted the leadership team of the business park to spread the word. It was also shared across social media.

She said: “The appeal caught the eye of many local people who were just so generous. We had people bringing in all sorts of toys, treats and even some beautiful hand knitted hats. We’re so grateful to everyone for their support.”

Darryn and Karen Hook, church leaders from Sanctuary 21 in Durham, a Salvation Army church, collected the items ready to distribute within the local communities of Newton Aycliffe and Shildon.

Mr Hook said: “We’re so grateful to the businesses and individuals who have worked so hard to bring this together, both right here at LED Supply & Fit and across the country. After one of the most difficult years in many people’s living memory, these donations will make a profound difference to people who might have faced the prospect of a Christmas Day filled with nothing.”

Ms Lane: “We are already planning to be involved with the campaign next year – I want to help ensure that every child has a present to open at Christmas. In 2021 we’ll start earlier; I’d love to see us collect twice as many gifts and be able to help an even greater number of families.”