Ben and Harry Lamplugh check out some of the toys collected during the 2011 St Nicholas Service. Pic: Lichfield Camera Club

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People can help imrpove a child’s Christmas by donating to the Lichfield Cathedral Toy Appeal. The scheme, which has run for the last two years, will see all toys given to the Pathway Project, which helps support victims of domestic abuse.
Ben and Harry Lamplugh check out some of the toys collected during the 2011 St Nicholas Service. Pic: Lichfield Camera Club
The traditional St Nicholas Service will be held outside the Cathedral as the Christmas tree is lit at 3.30pm on December 9 and visitors this year will be invited to bring a toy along. “Christmas brings particular heartache for families in difficulty,” said The Very Rev’d Adrian Dorber, Dean of Lichfield. “Children can be the victims of domestic violence and family breakdown, and we want to support the Pathway Project as they reach out to families facing hardship and crisis. “The cathedral wants to ensure especially vulnerable children can experience some of the joy and delight of Christmas.” Pathway Project director Kathy Coe said the toys could help to brighten the festive period for youngsters. “There can be no sadder time for families to have to leave their homes, their friends and families, and all of their belongings than at Christmas,” she said. “Seeing your children suffer is truly heartrending. “You would think that the refuges would be really sad places to be but actually they are filled with hope at this time of year. “When the gifts begin arriving and the worry and concern of mums trying to find ways to get something for their children is taken away it is wonderful to watch them relax and begin to feel safe and at home with us. “People are amazing in their support, their care and their concern and the wonderful sounds of children laughing and cheering as they open their gifts on Christmas morning is really heart-warming. “Thank you in advance to all the lovely people who will respond to your appeal and help to make someone’s Christmas really special.” As well as being donated at the service, toys can be handed over at the Vergers’ office or at the Old Stables between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. The appeal is looking for new toys for children from 0 to 16.

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Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.