West Ham players donate Christmas gifts to Kilburn children

West Ham under 19 players Josh Cullen, Kyle Knoyle, Alex Pike, Lewis Page and Djair Parfitt-Williams

West Ham under 19 players Josh Cullen, Kyle Knoyle, Alex Pike, Lewis Page and Djair Parfitt-Williams are encouraging others to donate presents to under-privileged children in Kilburn - Credit: Archant

Rising football stars from West Ham United’s academy have spread Christmas cheer by donating gifts to help Kilburn children who may not receive toys this festive season.

Players and staff from the academy joined Major Julie Pell, church leader of Kilburn Salvation Army in Chichester Road, to hand over toys, board games and footballs to distribute to children in the area who would not otherwise receive single gift this Christmas.

The gift-giving took place around the Christmas Tree of the Salvation Army’s present appeal was a chance for the budding footballers to reflect on their own success and encourage others to share their good fortunate at this time of year.

Lewis Page, 19, who plays for the under 21s and has played in the first team, said: “We all said we would buy something for the kids. I wanted to give back to the children. We are lucky enough to be where we are and it is good to be able to make them happy.”

Kyle Knoyle, 19, from Plaistow, who also plays for the under 21s, said: “I feel it is for a great cause. We are very fortunate so it is great to come back down to earth and give back to the kids who aren’t as fortunate as you.”

Major Julie Pell thanked the players for their generosity and paid tribute to the work of the Salvation Army’s volunteers.

She said: “They work with the local council, charities supporting victims of domestic violence, and through their own contacts, to distribute the toys and presents donated to children and families often in desperate need, many of whom would not receive a single gift on Christmas day if it weren’t for the appeal.

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“We see the difference that the presents make to the whole family and it lifts families who are often in desperate situations. It is the reality that the children have never created the problems that the families are in and many would not receive a single gift if it weren’t for the presents donated to The Salvation Army’s Christmas Present Appeal.

“The Salvation Army in Kilburn keeps a connection with the families who receive presents and we grow with them.”

If you would like to donate gifts to the Salvation Army’s appeal this Christmas visit salvationarmy.org.uk.