02 December 2019 You are here:

TV legend Eamonn Holmes backs Christmas Present Appeal

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Eamonn Holmes has come on board to support the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul’s annual Christmas Family Appeal.

Running until December 18, the Family Appeal has been supporting underprivileged children in Northern Ireland for 40 years by ensuring they have a present to open at Christmas. For the third year running, the charities are joined by Translink and U105 who continue to support the Family Appeal through the award-winning Stuff A Bus initiative. 

Belfast-born Eamonn took time out of his hectic schedule to visit the Salvation Army’s Thorndale Family Centre in north Belfast. The TV presenter, who grew up near to where the centre is located, spent a day meeting families and hearing how the church and charity is making a difference in their lives. Thorndale operates a range of service to support families, many of who are experiencing homelessness.

During the visit, Eamonn also paid tribute to the Family Appeal and the Stuff A Bus campaign which together aim to provide around 50,000 gifts to underprivileged children in Northern Ireland. 

Eamonn said: “It’s made me feel incredibly humble to visit the Thorndale and see how desperately needed this service is. Christmas is all about children and here at Thorndale I’ve seen children who through their innocence don’t know what’s going on. They just know they’ll be sad if Santa doesn’t arrive. And this is where we can all play a part by supporting the Family Appeal and Stuff A Bus campaign.

“When you see real people, who have real problems, making the best of terrible situations in their life, thank goodness for the Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Translink and U105 for collaborating together to bring families some extra joy at Christmas.”

The Stuff A Bus campaign needs the support from the public to help stuff a double decker bus with more than 20,000 presents. Purchasing just one extra gift could make a difference to a child’s life on Christmas morning. 

Drop off points are located in Translink stations across Northern Ireland and donations can also be left at the Visit Belfast Welcome Centre in Belfast city centre.

All gifts must be new and unwrapped. Gifts can be left at drop off points until 17 December. For more information on donation points visit the Translink site. Join in the conversation online using #StuffABusNI.