BUSINESSES across the region are rallying behind a local charity which aims to relieve social poverty over Christmas.

Lyons Holiday Parks, based in Rhyl, has now teamed up with Flintshire-based North Wales Superkids as part of their Christmas charity appeal.

The charity works by collecting brand-new toys for children of all ages and interests, sorting them into sacks, and distributing the bags of joy to children from families who would otherwise go without before Christmas Eve.

Margaret Williams MBE, from Flint, founded the charity 20 years ago – but now says the demand is higher than ever due the difficult year the nation has had during the pandemic.

She said: “It’s great to hear that big businesses like Lyons are supporting us.

“We rely on donations and fundraising from people, and it’s always brilliant when local companies dedicate their time and effort to collecting donations on our behalf, and then bringing them to our headquarters in Flintshire.”

Lyons have announced that their Robin Hood site, Coast Road, Rhyl, and Lido Beach, Bastion Road, Prestatyn, are now collection points for the charity.

Unopened, brand-new toys can be dropped off at the site any time of the day, any day of the week, either reception during working hours or the security office after dark.

Mrs Williams, a former parent support worker for vulnerable families across Flintshire and Denbighshire, is adamant that their work will not stop, despite Covid-19 restrictions.

She added: “What we do is vital, this year more than ever. Life throws things at certain families.

“People suffer major illnesses, deaths or redundancy in the months leading up to Christmas. And with the year we’ve had in 2020, putting a smile on children’s faces is ever more important.”

Mrs Williams says that financial difficulties have affected more families this year, and it’s those families that the charity are here for.

She said: “This isn’t a case of ‘I’d like more presents at Christmas, it’s for those families that are truly struggling and deserving.”

Margaret explained that the charity works with many local agencies who put forward applications on behalf of families.

The work that she and her ‘elves’ do each year relieves the needs of children and young people up to the age of 25 who are socially and economically disadvantaged - whether through financial hardship, domestic violence, health, substance misuse or other social and economic factors.

The dozens of helpers who normally fill the unit each year to sort and pack the donated gifts has now been reduced to a handful in line with Covid-19 restrictions.

Margaret said: “It is more difficult, but we won’t stop. After all, Santa is a key worker, and is needed as much as delivery drivers, healthcare workers, and retail staff. He is the ultimate delivery driver!”

Joseph Mound, company director, said it’s the least the business can do for such a worthy cause.

Mr Mounds said: “This is a wonderful charity that does great work across the region, and we are happy to help in any way we can.

“We know a lot of people have been restricted with travel this year, so opening up turning two of our popular parks in Rhyl and Prestatyn into a drop-off point, and transporting the goods to Flintshire, is a great way to support them this year.

“We’re also aware that many people now work from home and want to avoid shops for obvious reasons.

“So, we’re also encouraging those who want to donate to order their gifts on Amazon and have them delivered to either location where they will be stored and delivered to the Superkids’ unit safely.

“This is a great way of giving back to the community that we love, and as a family-run business, we feel it’s our duty to help families who are struggling right now. This is why we have also donated a free holiday to North Wales Superkids, who will make sure a family-in-need get the break they deserve next summer.”

The family who will benefit from an all-singing-and-dancing holiday at a Lyons resort next year will be chosen by Margaret and her team.

Margaret said: “Again, it’s not about paying for someone who fancies a holiday, it’s about the opportunity to help families who are in desperate need of respite.

“Perhaps there has been a death in the family, or stress due to ongoing medical issues, or a learning difficulty. Not only does it benefit the children, but having an easy-access, expenses paid-for holiday on the beach may also be the only opportunity the parents and other children have to get away that year.”