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It’s a wrap! Toy Appeal reaches thousands of children in poverty

This year’s Winter Toy Appeal has provided new gifts for more than 5,000 children experiencing extreme poverty.

The Appeal, run by the Local Buyers Club in partnership with Location Location and the E5 Babybank, has been running for eight years – distributing toys via a network of social workers, schools, children’s centres, refuges, migrant centres and more. This year’s appeal reached children in Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Tower Hamlets.

Organiser Jenna Fansa, of the Local Buyers Club, said: “Once again a community has come together to do something tangible to help families experiencing hardship. Our very heartfelt thanks go to everyone who donated – thanks to them, thousands of children who would otherwise have gone without, will have a special gift to open on Christmas morning.

“This year the toys have gone to survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, to refugees, to families in London living in hostels and unable to afford the basics, to children who have suffered the loss of their parents and to others enduring heartbreaking hardship.

““Self-worth sets in from a very early age. When children talk excitedly together in the playground about their Christmas presents, it brings about a crushing sense of injustice for those who didn’t get anything. So, beyond the initial joy the toys bring, the Appeal has a more lasting impact.”

This year’s Appeal generated more than £30,000 of trade for independent shops in Stoke Newington, Victoria Park, Crouch End, Hackney, Kentish Town and Hampstead. They include Stoke Newington Toys & Books, Happy Returns, Soup Dragon, Ace Sports and The Toybox.

Jenna added: “It takes a lot of organising to run an appeal like this. Our thanks go to the amazing team at the E5 Babybank who have helped the Local Buyers Club team to order and distribute toys this year, to the team at Location Location for their generosity and help collecting and to the army of parents who gave out fliers.”

Heather Johnson, who manages Hackney Council’s Temporary Accommodation Team, told Toy Appeal supporters: “We cannot thank you enough, you have lifted the hearts of all of our families in Hackney. I am overwhelmed with the kind people of Hackney, despite such a difficult two years. Aren't people lovely!”

Kiran Aujla, of Islington Council’s housing team, said: “To be able to give a brand-new toy to the children at Christmas bursts my heart!”

Dan Henry, a family support worker from Islington, said: “We’re working with families who have fled domestic violence and have nothing, with those who can’t afford to pay the rent let alone buy toys. Many of our families can’t afford food and are dependent on food banks. For the children we support the Winter Toy Appeal toys are the only gifts they’ll get this Christmas."

Moved to tears by the Toy Appeal donations, Tanya Whitfield, of Hackney Foodbank, said the rising cost of living and the scrapping of the £20 Universal Credit uplift meant their families have to choose between food and heating – the Toy Appeal toys are the only gifts most will receive at Christmas.

The appeal has provided more than 28,000 main Christmas presents for children in poverty since its launch in 2014.


Join the Local Buyers Club for half price (just £6) HERE using code TOYAPPEALFIVE and we'll donate £5 to the Winter Toy Appeal. (Usual price just £12 per year)

Club members receive savings and perks at hundreds of lovely local independent businesses.


Small but determined

We’re a small company too, but we have big ambitions to help small businesses thrive and to do all we can to harness the power of London’s amazing communities to help people in need. If you're not a Club member yet, we'd love to welcome you aboard! (Visit to join).

Jenna and Basil


Please join the Local Buyers Club

We're on a mission to help people discover & support the best independent businesses. The Local Buyers Club is more than just a discount card - we're London's shop-local club. We also organise community initiatives like the Winter Toy Appeal and have recently set up

But we can only do it with the support of our wonderful members.

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Our members are rewarded for choosing local with savings or perks at hundreds of awesome restaurants, shops, bars and small businesses throughout London. We help spread the word about them and raise awareness of the advantages of shopping locally.

Join the Local Buyers Club and, for just £15 per year, you'll be helping to support local business.

If you're a great independent business in London and would like to find out more about joining the Club and being listed on our site please email


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