Residents are being urged to donate their spare or unwanted toys and games amid the cost of living crisis to ensure more children wake up to a gift on Christmas Day.
For the fourth year running, the Reuse Santa appeal has been launched at household waste recycling centres across North Yorkshire and York.
This year, however, the appeal has taken on an even greater resonance amid the soaring cost of living, with rising inflation and the dramatic increase in the price of food and essential items placing more pressure on household finances.
Ourselves, City of York Council and Yorwaste are accepting donations of pre-loved gifts that are suitable for babies, children and teenagers until Sunday, 11 December.
Last year, over 20 Transit Van loads, plus four 7.5-tonne wagon loads, of good quality, pre-loved gifts were donated to families experiencing hardship over the Christmas period.
Executive member for waste management, Cllr Derek Bastiman, said: “The Reuse Santa appeal is at the heart of what Christmas is all about. December is a time of giving and this campaign aims to make it a little bit brighter for hundreds of children at a time when many families are struggling to make ends meet.
“The recycling centres will accept anything from puzzles and board games, to scooters, action figures and dolls, as long as they are in a good condition. We hope the appeal proves as successful as previous years so we can pass hundreds of items to good homes.”
City of York Council’s executive member for environment and climate change, Cllr Paula Widdowson, said: “We are delighted to help spread some Christmas spirit this year by supporting the Reuse Santa appeal. We all know how challenging the last year has been, and the campaign provides a unique opportunity to offer our children a brighter, happier Christmas while supporting a cleaner, greener York.
“We would encourage residents who can to donate to this worthwhile campaign and support those families who are struggling this holiday season.”
The donated items will be sorted, cleaned and distributed to local organisations and charities including Early Help, Ryedale Special Families, Colburn Hub and Community Café and the British Heart Foundation.
The marketing executive at Yorwaste, James Todd, said: “Now in its fourth year, we’re extremely proud of the work we have done and the people we have supported with our Reuse Santa appeal.
“Nothing is more satisfying than seeing great quality, pre-loved toys being passed onto people who will love them all over again. It’s the circular economy at its very best.”
The appeal is once again partnering with No Wrong Door, the county council’s service supporting young people within or on the edge of the care system.
The group manager at No Wrong Door, Teri Owens, said: “The cost of living crisis is forcing more and more people into financial difficulty, and this Christmas is set to be particularly tough for a lot of families - making this appeal more important than ever.”
Site operatives at the recycling centres will be on hand to accept donations, as well as advise on recycling or disposing of items that are unsuitable.