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Good cause calling itself ‘fourth emergency service’ launches Christmas campaign


By PA News

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Keely Dalfen, The Brick’s chief executive (The Brick/PA)

A charity for struggling families has launched an advert highlighting the reality of Christmas for those who have very little.

The Brick, in Wigan and Leigh in Greater Manchester, has showcased its work during the cost-of-living crisis, pointing out it is distributing household essentials as well as toys and gifts for disadvantaged children.

While big retailers spend millions on sumptuous TV advertising campaigns, The Brick’s two-minute film was produced for free.

It highlights the work the charity does, supplying local families with surplus goods donated by businesses.

It uses the example of a family receiving toilet rolls after being forced to use public conveniences because it could not afford toilet paper.

According to End Child Poverty, one in three children in Wigan and Leigh grows up in poverty, so The Brick has stepped up to provide essential items for families, such as sanitary products, toothpaste, clothing, shoes and even carpet tiles, as well as traditional gifts and toys to tens of thousands of homes.

Chief executive Keely Dalfen said: “Families have felt abandoned this year, with nowhere to turn.

“They have exhausted their savings and are on the brink of crisis, and many in vulnerable housing are terrified of eviction.”

Items from The Brick are distributed via referrals from more than 300 professional partners such as social workers, healthcare providers, charities and schools.

Ms Dalfen added: “This Christmas and beyond, we will be a fourth emergency service; our 24/7 webchat service will be up and running and we will be working hard to put the magic back into Christmas Day.

“No child should feel that they are not worthy, and no parent should wake up on Christmas Day with the anxiety of knowing that their child isn’t getting what they asked for from Santa.”

Mark Woods, creative director of Really Good Films, which made the film, said: “We’re proud to have helped The Brick make this ‘Little Christmas Ad’.

“The work that Keely and her team do is vital all year round, but especially so at this time of year. To be able to help them tell their story was a real privilege.”

To donate, visit The Brick’s website or text BRICK10 to 70480 to give £10.

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