AN AYRSHIRE man who has spent more than a decade raising funds to help the area's sickest children says he was left speechless by the latest donation to his cause.

Michael Kirkum admitted he'd been silenced by a donation of goodies for his Christmas appeal from Poundland in Kilmarnock.

For more than 10 years Michael has been running donation drives to ensure that children from Ayrshire who will spend Christmas and Easter in hospital get a special gift to put a smile on their faces.

The Kilwinning was left gobsmacked when Poundland in Kilmarnock handed over a massive selection of festive treats, thanks to the generosity of the store's staff and customers.

The Poundland store team gave him a number of boxes and bags filled to the brim with selection boxes and goody bags - which will go a long way towards putting a smile on children's faces over the festive period.

Sharing an image of the donations, Michael commented: "I got these today from Poundland in Kilmarnock - from the staff and customers. It is not very often I’m silent, but wow, thank you."

Poundland's donation is the latest in a number of big business gifts made to Michael's appeal - which he hopes will help make this year the best to date.

Having smashed his targets on previous occasions, receiving more donations year on year, Michael is hoping that this year can see the appeal help its 20,000th child - and then some.

And while he is well on track to reach that goal, Michael's collection for the children's ward at Crosshouse still requires help from the community.

This year, Michael is hoping to receive donations of selection boxes, colouring books and crayons, soft toys, board games, baby toys and story books for under fives to hand over to the hospital and other children's groups.

He commented: "Spending time in hospital at Christmas, away from family and friends, can be a stressful time. For children it's magnified ten times.

"This cost-of-living crisis puts a strain on many families, so this appeal not only helps those in hospital but many in our local community.

"Your donations help to keep a bit of normality in their lives - showing that Santa delivers to every child no matter where they are.

"Let's smash last year's total - you can help make a difference."

For those wishing to find our more about the appeal, or to make a donation, you can contact Michael Kirkum on Facebook (, by emailing or by calling or texting 07961 540780.