THE Salvation Army has vowed not to let Covid-19 rob York residents of the joy of Christmas as it launched its annual Christmas Present Appeal.

Officer Andrew Dunkinson says the church will do its best to ensure no disadvantaged family dreads waking up on Christmas Day without gifts.

He also said that while the Salvation Army can’t organise its usual Christmas Day hospitality because of pandemic restrictions, its volunteers will deliver bags of cheer to their usual guests and, working with Wiltshire Farm Foods, will enable festive meals to be delivered to people’s homes.

“Last year, we provided Christmas presents to 584 children and additional food supplies to 249 families in need,” he said.

“Every single gift is welcome and we are grateful to all those who give so generously to the appeal. For a child who has very little, receiving a brand new gift at Christmas reassures them that they are special.”

He asked well-wishers to donate a toy or other gift at drop off points including Tesco Extra Stores at Clifton Moor and Askham Bar from this Friday. He said current restrictions meant it might be difficult for people to donate gifts and so a “Lockdown” Appeal was being launched to raise £8,000, so as to provide vouchers to families once food and gifts have run out.

Clifton Moor Tesco Extra manager Gary Simpson said: “We are pleased again to practically support the Christmas Appeal and the families that The Salvation Army helps. It’ll be a lifeline this year.”

Askham Bar store manager Ben Merriman said: “It has been moving to see how generous our customers have been in support of this cause in the past.”

l For more information, go to or telephone 01904 690697. Monetary donations may be sent to The Salvation Army, 1 Lundy Close, York, YO30 5GQ.