It has been a record year for a Winter Toy Appeal that delivers gifts to children experiencing extreme poverty in North and East London.
This year the appeal, which is run by the Local Buyers Club in partnership with Location Location, has collected enough toys for around 4,500 children and a massive amount of food for Hackney Foodbank.
Vicky Bibiris, who helps to run the appeal, said: “It was touch and go there for a while – with just a week to go we didn’t have enough toys to meet the demand! But the public was quick to respond to our calls for more donations and, in the end, we had more toys than ever. As a result, we’ve been able to expand our reach and take referrals from agencies we haven’t previously worked with.
“It’s wonderful to know that on Christmas morning thousands of children who have had the hardest of years, will have a special gift to open thanks to the kindness of strangers. The quality of gifts this year has been extraordinary.”
Children throughout Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Tower Hamlets will receive a gift, which are distributed via schools, hostels, refuges, children’s centres, temporary accommodation teams and food banks. Around 2,700 toys were distributed via the Ivy Street Family Centre to children in need in Hackney.
Basil Fansa, of the Local Buyers Club, added: “Thousands of children in London are enduring unimaginable poverty. The system is clearly broken but, until things change, it’s wonderful that communities pull together to support local food banks and to give to appeals like this one. We’d like to thank everyone who donated.”
(Just some of the toys donated by the public)
The appeal had widespread support from local primary schools, including Benthal, William Patten, Grasmere, Betty Layward, Tyssen, St Paul’s Steiner School, Rosemary Works and Charterhouse Square and from local nurseries including N16 Tots, Sandbrook and N is for Nursery.
Among the companies supporting the appeal were Kitchen Provisions, Earlybird Cards, Mace Group, Bloomsbury Publishers, Aptum and the NSPCC and money was also raised by shoppers attending Stoke Newington’s recent Christmas shopping event.
The Winter Toy Appeal has been running for six years.
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