The Salvation Army in Chester is calling on the community to donate new toys to its Christmas Present Appeal and support families who will struggle to make ends meet over the festive season.   

Every year The Salvation Army asks people to donate new toys and gifts for children whose families cannot put food on the table, heat their homes or pay their bills.

Last year, Chester Salvation Army distributed over 200 hampers and the church and charity fears more people will need support this year. 

The church and charity also creates hampers each Christmas for homeless people in the area to keep warm and feel loved and is also appealing for toiletries, including toothbrushes, toothpaste and individually wrapped bars of soap, hats, scarfs, gloves and socks to create warm packs and selection boxes.  

Salvation Army church leader Gay Tonks said: “Helping a parent provide a gift for their child is more than just financial support, it brings the joy of Christmas into their home.

"We have seen the devastating effect of the cost-of-living crisis. People are really struggling and so we are doing what we can to relieve the pressure this Christmas.  

“The Salvation Army’s present appeal is an opportunity for people in our communities to embrace the spirit of Christmas and give to families and individuals who have nothing.

"We have been humbled by the public’s generosity over the years and hope this year our appeal will be able to bring some comfort and joy to people who are struggling the most.”  

The church on St Anne Street will be collecting donations of new unwrapped toys until Friday, December 8. The Salvation Army will then sort and distribute the gifts to children and families in the area through local groups, schools and social services.  

People wishing to donate can drop their generous contribution at the church and community centre on St Anne Street or The Piper, Pipers Lane Chester.

For people that would prefer to make a financial donation, a JustGiving page has been created at   

Gifts can include anything from educational toys, baby clothes, bath toys, books, including learn to read books (for babies and toddlers) to dolls and action figures, sports equipment and clothing, toiletries (please try to ensure non-allergic ingredients if possible), gloves, scarves, hats, T-shirts, hair accessories and gift vouchers for older children. Wrapping paper, sticking tape and gift tags are also welcome. 

People can also donate through The Entertainer’s Big Toy appeal, which runs until November 25. Customers can buy an extra toy to donate when they visit a store or shop online at

For each toy donated, The Entertainer will also add a toy, doubling the number for children who might go without. Each Entertainer store is connected with a local Salvation Army church or centre who will collect and distribute the toys as part of the wider Christmas Present Appeal.   

A church and charity, The Salvation Army expresses its Christian faith by offering friendship, practical help and support to some of the most disadvantaged people in our communities. To help support The Salvation Army’s year-round work, visit

For more information on Chester Salvation Army, visit