Leicester Mercury

Christmas toy appeal is launched by stores


- By ADRIAN TROUGHTON adrian.troughton@reachplc.com @adriantrou­ghton

A SUPERMARKE­T is launching an appeal to help give Christmas presents to poorly and disadvanta­ged children.

Central England Co-op has announced its Christmas Toybox Appeal to make sure as many children as possible have a gift to open this festive season.

One of the charities to benefit is Rainbows Hospice in Loughborou­gh, which looks after children and young people with life-limiting illnesses.

The appeal follows on from the success of the retailer’s first ever appeal last year which saw more than 12,000 presents and stocking fillers donated.

Kate Golding, head of organisati­onal giving at Rainbows, said it was grateful for the support after being “overwhelme­d” by the generosity of Central England Co-op’s customers and members in last year’s appeal.

“At Rainbows, we can always put toys to good use for our children, young people and their siblings,” she said.

“We especially love toys that focus on sensory arts and crafts as even those with the most complex of needs can benefit from them,” she said.

“We’d like to thank everyone who donates to the appeal, we really appreciate it after what has been a difficult year.”

Running throughout the month of November, customers and members are being urged to donate a present or stocking filler at special donation points located in all 242 stores across 16 counties.

Gifts will then be distribute­d via local charities, community groups, food banks, major hospitals and hospices to families who might not otherwise be able to afford to put presents under the tree for their children.

Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op chief executive, said: “After such an uncertain year for so many in our communitie­s, Christmas offers a time for reflection but also celebratio­n and joy, particular­ly for children.

“However, we know through our work with our food bank partners and with FareShare Midlands the challenges being faced every day by families which has only got tougher as a result of the impact of the Covid19 pandemic.

“By launching our second Christmas Toybox appeal we hope to make sure that as many children as possible across the country wake up on Christmas morning with a present waiting for them to help bring the festive season to life.

“We are again working with some truly inspiring local good causes and charities to make this appeal another great success and ensure that all of these donations will end up with children who need them most.

“So, if you can this Christmas, please visit our food stores, donate a new present and help us give a child a gift they will love.”

The Christmas Toybox Appeal donation points will be in stores from November 1 to December 9.

Items have to be new, unwrapped and can include puzzles, games, soft toys, outdoor toys, books, dolls/figures, CDs/DVDs and art materials.

The major organisati­ons being supported include Birmingham Salvation Army and Rainbows.

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 ??  ?? GIFT: One of the happy recipients from last year and, below, Co-op staff with some donations
GIFT: One of the happy recipients from last year and, below, Co-op staff with some donations

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