Blackpool's Hayley Kay and friends call for donations to Blackpool Food Bank in The Locals Helping Locals Christmas appeal

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Can you help brighten up the lives of the less fortunate this Christmas?

That’s the question being asked by a group of friends, including radio presenter and Blackpool panto star Hayley Kay, again this year.

Hayley Kay said she was overwhelmed with the response to the appeal last year

Hayley Kay said she was overwhelmed with the response to the appeal last year

The Locals Helping Locals for Christmas appeal is once again calling for donations to the Blackpool Food Bank.

Started in 2014, it has grown into a major appeal that last year saw more than £3,000 of food donated.

Hayley said: “My friends and I decided around Christmas 2014 that we would buy each other gifts that we would donate to the food bank instead. So eventually I think we had a budget of like £25.

“We all put on Christmas jumpers, laid it all out on the table and when it was all out there you thought, ‘that looks really nice’, which is where it all started.”

More than 11,000 children in Blackpool are estimated to be living in poverty.

More than 11,000 children in Blackpool are estimated to be living in poverty.

The food collection event is being held at the Sandcastle Waterpark on Friday, November 23, with all donations collected and distributed to local families in need by the local food bank.

READ MORE>>> Hayley waves goodbye to radio breakfast show

Blackpool Council has offered those attending free parking on the South Beach car park.

The team is looking for products that don’t spoil, like long-life milk, tinned goods, cereal, rice, pasta and tea bags.

The food collection by Hayley Kay and her friends for the Blackpool Food Bank. They held the collection at the Winter Gardens and filled 10 tables

The food collection by Hayley Kay and her friends for the Blackpool Food Bank. They held the collection at the Winter Gardens and filled 10 tables

Hayley added: “Blackpool gets such a bad press but there’s loads of really, really kind people that live here and that often gets overlooked.”

Neil Reid, from Blackpool Food Bank, said: “People just do what they can. There is a great sense of putting your head on your pillow at nighttime and going ‘you know what, today I’ve done something that’s good and I feel good about it.’”

How to help

To help, take your donations to the Sandcastle Waterpark on November 23, from 4 to 7pm.

Poverty affects thousands

More than 11,000 children in Blackpool are estimated to be living in poverty.