A CHARITABLE club has teamed up with a High Street department store in a bid to provide toys for disadvantaged children this Christmas 

The Rotary Club of Colchester has helped to make Christmas special for the underprivileged for more than 30 years and it is working with Colchester’s Fenwick department store on its festive Play Santa Appeal.

This appeal asks shoppers to buy one extra gift to the collection at Fenwick’s. 

All donated gifts are then taken to social services by the Rotary club of Colchester and distributed to families in need. 

In 2022, the Rotary Club of Colchester marked 100 years of keeping the community together.

Colchester volunteers also partnered with Rotary clubs abroad, including in Bielefeld, Germany, and Zwolle, the Netherlands, to fund a clinic in Malawi.

Peter Rutland, president for the Rotary club said: “Gift donors are asked to hand in their gift, ideally unwrapped, by December 18 and presents for youngsters from babies to teenagers will be gratefully received.” 

Gazette:  Collection - Rotary Club of Colchester Collection - Rotary Club of Colchester (Image: Submitted)

As a permanent addition to the Play Santa Appeal, Fenwick will continue with the drop-in box in the toy department, where people can donate new toys all year round.

This is not the only festive appeal that the Rotary Club of Colchester is involved with.

Continuing a tradition that began in the 1950s, the club has launched its latest Christmas collection.

Since the first collection, there has been one each year including during the Covid pandemic.

Deputy mayor Lesley Scott-Boutell and club president Peter Rutland launched this year’s Christmas collection in Lion Walk.

The funds collected help the Rotary Club provide more than 150 Christmas hampers for Colchester families in need and support their charitable work throughout the year. 

The collectors present will also have a 'tap and pay' machine to accept donations by credit or debit card.

A spokesman from the Rotary Club said: “If you are visiting the ‘city centre’, between now and Christmas Eve please pop along to Lion Walk where you will find their collectors. 

“The Rotary Club would like to thank the management and staff of Red Lion Yard and Lion Walk Shopping Centre for their support.”