MIKE CONWAY from Bradford Cinderella Club - which helps children living in poverty in the district - shares news of the charity’s Christmas shoebox appeal:

Bradford often gets bad press, but when you volunteer for an organisation like the Cinderella Club, you get to see a different side to the city.

The Cinderella Club is currently in the middle of its annual shoebox/toy appeal. The items, which include small toys, hats, gloves, socks and toiletries, are sorted into age groups and packed by our volunteers.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Piles of shoeboxes at Bradford Cinderella Club base Piles of shoeboxes at Bradford Cinderella Club base (Image: Mike Conway)

The shoebox appeal means that over 1,000 of Bradford’s poorest kids will wake up on Christmas morning with a box of goodies. Some of these kids might otherwise have no Christmas gift at all.

It means that schools, hospitals and care homes will be able to give a Christmas gift to the city’s most deprived children.

It’s what the Bradford Cinderella Club does! It’s why we exist! We have been doing it for 130 years.

But the reality is that this work could not happen without brilliant support from the Bradford public. This support comes from all manner of sources, such as our Justgiving page. It also comes from schools like Feversham Girls’ Academy, from sports clubs like South Bradford FC U10s, GKK Karate, BBEC Dojo andVicky Keep Fit.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Pupils at Feversham Girls' Academy with their gift box donations Pupils at Feversham Girls' Academy with their gift box donations (Image: Mike Conway)

I recently collected a massive number of individually prepared shoeboxes from members of Wibsey Liberal Club. Aqua Consultants in Bradford have just delivered a load of baby clothes and toys.

Today we’re expecting a delivery of toys from the West Yorkshire Casualty Prevention Partnership. And as I’m writing this, we have just received a significant toy delivery from Wibsey Suite Centre.

This is the real Bradford public - kind, generous and giving!

* Bradford Cinderella Club - one of the beneficiaries of this year’s Lord Mayor’s Appeal - was established in 1890 to provide clothes for children from poor families. Soon it was serving hot meals, and later worked with Bradford Corporation on the Provision of Meals Act in 1905 - leading to the city’s free school meals legacy. By the First World War the charity was providing treats and day trips for children, and clothing, footwear and powdered milk for babies.

In the early 1900s the charity purchased a holiday home, Hest Bank, near Morecambe where, over the decades, thousands of Bradford children went for a seaside break. Hest Bank was for children whose families who couldn’t afford holidays, or those with a health condition that would benefit from open spaces and fresh air. In the Second World War Hest Bank housed evacuees, while the Cinderella Club helped families whose breadwinners were at war. In the post-war years the charity organised trips to the cinema, theatre and countryside.

Today the Cinderella Club provides treats for underprivileged children and funds things like school uniforms, trips and equipment.

* For more about the Bradford Cinderella Club Christmas shoebox appeal call Mike Conway on 07845202098.