CHILDREN experiencing hardship or isolation this year face a brighter Christmas thanks to a new appeal to raise £5,000.

Launched by Burnley Leisure with Burnley Together, the community hub helping the borough cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

Burnley Leisure has created an online Go Fund Me website page to collect public donations for a borough-wide Secret Santa collection.

Money can be donated by anyone including local firms, business networking groups, clubs and community groups. Donations will be used to buy Christmas presents and fun experiences for local families who have been hardest hit by this year’s events.

Burnley Leisure will also provide vouchers so that children and their families can take part in activities such as swimming, mini-golf, holiday clubs and pitch and putt.

Presents for boys and girls will be wrapped by staff and delivered with Burnley Together partners in time for Christmas.

The deadline for Secret Santa donations is December 13. However, the Go Fund Me page will remain online after that date so any donations made after December 13 will fund further charitable projects next year, such as meal vouchers for children.

Janet Roundell, Burnley Leisure's Activities Manager, said: "We believe that every child deserves a little Christmas cheer – more so this year than ever.

"Our Secret Santa appeal aims to deliver that festive cheer with your help. Working with all the partners within Burnley Together we want to use your donation to ensure a gift is delivered to those children most in need this Christmas. We truly are in this together."

During the latest four-week national lockdown, all Burnley Leisure centres are temporarily closed until Thursday, December 3.

A link to the Burnley Go Fund Me page is