STAFF and directors at a company, which has celebrated its 50th birthday this year, have ensured that poverty-stricken families with children in the Newtown area will not be short of food and presents this Christmas.

For the second festive season running, Rees Astley Ltd, Independent Financial Advisers and Insurance Brokers with offices in Newtown, Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury, has donated toys to The Salvation Army in Newtown.

However, this year, the staff and directors have gone a step further by also donating non-perishable food items to enable The Salvation Army to provide Christmas parcels to those in need.

The charity has, this year, reported a 40 per cent increase in demand for Christmas food parcels. Last year, the charity provided 119 Christmas food hampers and 196 toy parcels, which included 50 donated by Rees Astley.

The charity’s 2019 Toys and Tins Appeal runs until December 19 and donations can be made at The Salvation Army Shop in Market Street, Newtown.

 Rees Astley’s staff and directors organised a reverse advent calendar whereby they donated food items each day, in addition to buying toys as gifts for children. The directors also made donation to buy food for Christmas hampers.

Lisa Fisher, Rees Astley’s financial services administrator, who is co-ordinating donations, estimated that around £200 worth of toys and £400 worth of food had already been donated.

“The response from staff and directors was very positive,” said Lisa. “I think they have been shocked to hear that The Salvation Army is reporting a 40 per cent increase in demand for Christmas parcels this year.

“We have donated more toys this year in addition to food and the company has made a donation to mark its 50th birthday.”

Thanking the staff and directors of Rees Astley, Samantha Jones, from The Salvation Army in Newtown, said: “Christmas and the lead-up to Christmas is a time of joy for many, but for others it is a time of emotional and financial hardship. The Salvation Army understands this, and we could not help all the Mid Wales families we support without the backing of people and local companies such as Rees Astley.

“We have been incredibly touched by the generosity that we are experiencing at a time when the number of children and families referred to us for gifts and food is increasing. It is amazing how generous local people are in hard times when we all pull together to support those in need.”


Pictured: Colleen O’Brien (left) manager of The Salvation Army Shop in Newtown receives the Christmas toys and food donations from Rees Astley staff Jackie Rollo, Lisa Fisher, Rhia Cornes, Lauren Windsor and Sara Jones