Imagine going without lunch every day so your children can eat.
Imagine being so hungry you load your coffee with seven sugars at the children’s centre.
Imagine queuing for food packages at a Food Bank because the wages you earn simply aren’t enough to cover the cost of food and rent or because you’ve been without benefits for five weeks while you wait for Universal Credits to come.
Imagine being the only child in a class full of children who daren’t ask for a Christmas present because poverty in your household is so extreme. Now imagine being a mum or dad who knows they won’t be able to buy a gift.
These are the families our Winter Toy Appeal reaches. This is the sixth annual toy appeal and local need has got steadily worse. Demand for Hackney Food Bank rose by over 40% in the past year and Hackney was recently ranked the third worst borough in the country for child poverty.
The Winter Toy Appeal reaches children in North London - predominantly in Hackney, Haringey and Islington .
(From left to right: Basil and Jenna from Local Buyers Club, Vicky from Location Location)
Jenna Fansa, who founded the appeal, said: “The Winter Toy Appeal is a chance to take the pressure off families who are experiencing extreme poverty – providing parents with gifts to give and ensuring children have something special to open. Last year our toys reached over 4,000 children in North London – that included every child in temporary accommodation in Hackney, children living in refuges, attending migrant centres and children identified as being in need by social workers, schools and children’s centres.
“This year things aren’t any better and once again we’re urging the people of London to step up and give generously to the appeal.”
The appeal, which is run by the Local Buyers Club in partnership with Location Location estate agency, collects new toys and non-perishable food. The deadline for giving is December 7.
You can shop locally and donate at:
Location Location estate agency (18 Stoke Newington Church Street),
Askew Eyewear (corner of Albion Road and Church St N16),
Crops & Bobbers (Essex Road N1),
Bourne’s Fishmonger (Highbury Barn),
L'Epicerie 56 (Clapton),
The Rio Cinema (During opening hours - lunchtimes and evenings, please don't leave donations outside),
Studio 4 Salon (Essex Rd N1),
Vintiners Picture Framing (Crouch End),
House of Buckley at The Factory (Shacklewell Lane)
Or shop online via the wish list (your toys will be delivered direct to Location Location). www.toyappealwishlist.com
(Winter Toy Appeal 2018)
Claire Reay, of the Ivy Street Family Centre (which helps distribute the toys in Hackney) said: “Things are pretty grim for many families this year – the food bank hasn’t enough stock to meet demand and many of the families we see can’t make ends meet.
“The services who give out the Winter Toy Appeal gifts are always amazed by their quality, the fact that they’re age-appropriate and that so much thought has gone into choosing them. The people who receive these gifts feel cared for – they can’t believe that people they don’t know have taken care of their children in this way.”
Angela Large of Ivy Street added: “We have social workers bursting into tears when they turn up to collect toys -they are completely overcome by local people’s kindness.”
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