Celebrity Juice star and Leeds lad Keith Lemon is urging readers to back this year’s Mission Christmas toy appeal.
The comic, who grew up in Old Farnley, wants people to get behind the YEP-backed campaign, which is run by 96.3 Radio Aire and Magic 828’s Cash for Kids charity and aims to ensure every child in West Yorkshire wakes up to a Christmas gift.
Every gift donated to the appeal’s drop off points at the Crown Point Shopping Park, in Leeds, and other venues will be wrapped and distributed by Cash for Kids to brighten the lives of some of the most vulnerable and deprived children in the region.
Last year’s record-breaking appeal saw Mission Christmas deliver more than £828,000 worth of gifts to over 15,000 children across the region.
Keith, the comic alter ego of Leeds comic Leigh Francis, said: “Mission Christmas is very important, no matter how many toys you buy for your kids this week or next week or in the run up to Christmas, just buy one gift to give to the charity because it’s a well worthy charity.
“Your kids wont know what’s going on but in your heart you will know you have done the right thing.”
The TV personality, who pledged his support to the campaign on a recent visit to Leeds, has also starred in his own movie, presents Through the Keyhole and has published a series of books.
Donations have been flooding in at new and unwrapped gift collection points across Leeds, including at shops at the Crown Point Shopping Park and at Radio Aire itself.
Last week healthcare firm Simplyhealth donated £8,650 worth of gifts to benefit more than 1,700 young patients at Leeds Children’s Hospital at Leeds General Infirmary.
Lisa Sullivan, charity manager at Cash for Kids, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have someone as high profile as Keith behind us, and we’re hopeful his backing will encourage more people to donate.
“Every gift can make the difference to a child’s life.”
Mission Christmas sends gifts to organisations helping some of the county’s most needy children, including Barnardo’s, Women’s Aid and hospices.
To find out more or to donate, visit stores at Crown Point, visit www.radioaire.com/missionchristmas or call 0113 2835555.