Peterborough family give gifts worth over £1,000 to Salvation Army appeal

Brett and Chris Groome with Judith Harvey from the Salvation Army Citadel. Photo: David Lowndes EMN-140212-134614009
Brett and Chris Groome with Judith Harvey from the Salvation Army Citadel. Photo: David Lowndes EMN-140212-134614009
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Disadvantaged children will wake up to presents at Christmas thanks to a generous donation from a Peterborough family.

More than £1,000 worth of toys and food were this week delivered to the Salvation Army in Bourges Boulevard to help with their annual toy appeal.

The donation was made on behalf of the Lee Groome Fund which is run by Peterborough man Chris Groome (65) and son Brett (33).

The fund was set up by Lee Groome, Chris’ son, before his death to a rare form of cancer in 2000 when he was 24. Its aim is to help Peterborough people in need.

The gifts will be delivered to organisations who request them such as social services and local carers who will then pass them on to the children.

Judith Harvey, community project manager for the Salvation Army Citadel, knows that the donations will have a huge impact to children who would otherwise have nothing to look forward to on Christmas day.

“The general public are fantastic with their donations,” she said.

“It makes such a difference, you cannot believe. It makes Christmas more special for them.

“It’s hard to try and understand how hard it must be when you can’t buy anything at Christmas.

“It’s through donations like this we are able to help them.

“I cannot say thank you enough to them. We are really grateful for what they have given us.”

Requests for donations have already started to come in. Last year, the Salvation Army in Peterborough gave out just over 1,000 toys.

The donations from the Groome family included dolls, scooters, Lego as well as tins of sweets and Christmas cakes.

In particular, presents for teenage boys were chosen as the charity often have less of these than other types of presents, and many were also bought through online offers.

The inspiration to donate to the toy appeal came from Brett’s partner Angelica (37) after the couple were inspired last year by the Giving Tree at Queensgate Shopping Centre which gives presents to local charities.

Brett said: “It’s quite sad to think there’s people in desperate need.

“Last year we really noticed the Giving Tree. It’s a shame to think of people not having Christmas presents.”

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Peterborough Citadel