Lisburn couple bring joy to local families with Christmas appeal

The last year has been difficult for many families across the city. And at Christmas time that struggle can become even more pronounced.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 12:53 pm

As the pandemic swept the world in 2020, a local couple decided they needed to do something to make Christmas 2020 a little easier for families in Lisburn.

Last Christmas William Crawford and his wife Linda decided they needed to do something to help families less fortunate than themselves so they set up ‘Toys for Joy’ to collect presents and food vouchers for families in need. The appeal proved to be such a success that the couple have decided they would like to continue with Toys for Joy this year as well.

“Last year my wife Linda and I where both fortunate enough to have worked through the covid crisis and had Christmas organised but then we thought what about people that weren’t in same position as us?” explained William.

“So we decided to try to find out how we could help people in our local area. We contacted the Atlas Centre and they told us how many families were in need.

“‘Toys for Joy’ was born, we had drop off points in the city and received the backing of the Mayor.”

William and Linda said people were very generous in donating items to the appeal and the couple even managed to get hold of actual Christmas lists from people and tried to get as many items from the list as possible.

Local butchers Dorans from the Low Road also helped out so that Will and Linda we able give families food vouchers for the festive season.

“Two days before Christmas i dressed as Santa and with Atlas and my wife we delivered toys and vouchers to over 35 families in Lisburn,” continued Will. “it was such a humbling experience and this year we still see the effects and people struggling so we need everyone’s support again.”

Toys can be left at collection points, including Canna Bears in Haslems Lane, Doran and Son Butchers on the Low Road and at the Atlas Centre on Bachelor’s Walk. A Go Fund Me page has also been set up so that peple can make donations online. Visit

Find out more about the appeal and how you can help by visiting