Children’s charity’s £9,000 toy boost

Pennywell Barnardos manager Tracie Mitchison and assistant manager Amy Guttridge along some of the toys that have been donated to the Toy Exchange.

Pennywell Barnardos manager Tracie Mitchison and assistant manager Amy Guttridge along some of the toys that have been donated to the Toy Exchange.

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A CHILDREN’S charity has had a boost in donations.

Barnardo’s had £9,110-worth of toys donated in more than 900 bags.

The boost was thanks to Argos, which teamed up with the charity in a toy exchange programme.

Over the New Year, people making donations to any one of the five Wearside Barnardo’s shops could receive £5 off a £35 toy purchase at Argos.

Barnardo’s in Pennywell received the most donated toys, taking in 264 bags.

Manager Tracie Mitchinson said: “It was quite unbelievable, not only the amount of toys we received but the quality. We have sold nearly everything.

“Every toy was in full working order and our customers were thrilled with them. They couldn’t wait to buy them.

“It just took a while to go through everything.

“We thought it would be quiet after Christmas, but we have still been quite busy.”

The charity’s Seaham shop received 218 bags, Pallion 203, Stockton Road 149 and Chester Road 77.

Tracie, who has worked at the Pennywell shop for six months, said: “I don’t know why we received the most bags. I didn’t realise we had, to be honest.

“But we are quite central to Durham and Washington, and near two Argos stores at Chester-le-Street and Washington.

“We were overwhelmed by the amount donated.”

Barnardo’s North East area retail business manager, Tracie Brooks, said: “We are delighted that the Argos Toy Exchange has proved such a success.

“This was a substantial boost to our stock in the run-up to the new year. Donations are essential in order to keep our stores trading.

“All profits from selling these items are ploughed directly into Barnardo’s work with vulnerable and disadvantaged children, so a huge thank-you to everyone who has donated.”

The toy exchange signalled the beginning of a new partnership between Barnardo’s and Argos which will continue to encourage Argos shoppers to donate their old toys to the charity.

John Walden, Argos managing director, said: “This is the first time Argos has been involved in such a partnership and we are truly delighted by the level of support our customers and colleagues have shown.”

Barnardo’s gratefully receives any clothes, toys, or goods at any time of the year. For your nearest store visit: www.barnardos.org.uk

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull