16:10 Wednesday 11 December 2013

Last call for presents as Xmas appeal nears end

Written byROB SMYTH

SHOPPERS are being urged to hand in the gifts which form part of a campaign to provide presents for needy youngsters at Christmas as the deadline edges ever closer.

Hundreds of gifts have been bought by generous shoppers and Derek Liddle and his team of trusty volunteers want to remind people the last day for taking gifts to the tree in Coopers Square shopping centre is on Sunday.

Presents will be delivered to less fortunate children from Monday of next week and gifts handed in after that will not be delivered.

Mr Liddle said: “We are still asking people to dig deep and buy a present for someone who is less fortunate than them.

“I have a great team of people who help me out each year and I cannot thank them and the public enough for coming out, year on year to support those in need.

“We always get great support from the town and the Burton public are more generous than any other.

“Many are still struggling in general due to problems with jobs and the economy, yet they still dig deep and help the appeal.”

Now, with only days remaining, people are being asked to take any remaining presents to the centre so that they can be collected in and distributed.

The 2012 appeal saw thousands of gifts handed out to children in the Burton and South Derbyshire area.

The value of the presents was around £15,000.

The appeal is centred on a tree inside Coopers Square shopping centre. People remove tags from the tree with a deprived child’s name and preferred Christmas present written on it.

The presents are then purchased in the shopping centre, handed over to the charity workers and then distributed to the deprived children.

A spokesman for the appeal said: “If you’re interested in helping Derek to help put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas please email rota@derekstree.co.uk. And thanks you for all the support given.”

People can also support the appeal by nominating Derek’s Tree to receive support from Asda in Burton. All they have to do after shopping in the store is place a special green token into a container labelled ‘Derek’s Tree’.

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