Chocs away! It’s time for charity’s Easter egg appeal

BIG HELP: Viv Watts of Hope 4 Kidz (standing left) with deputy head teacher Pauline Holbrook at Portland School, Chaplegarth, Sunderland and pupils with Easter Eggs after a presentation following the success of last year's campaign.
BIG HELP: Viv Watts of Hope 4 Kidz (standing left) with deputy head teacher Pauline Holbrook at Portland School, Chaplegarth, Sunderland and pupils with Easter Eggs after a presentation following the success of last year's campaign.
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IT’S chocs away for a campaign which will make children’s Easter a sweeter one.

Hope 4 Kidz has teamed up with the Echo to run the annual Easter Egg Appeal to collect as many chocolate eggs as possible for youngsters facing a tough time.

APPEAL LAUNCH:  Marie Groody (left) and Aimee Burns of Hope 4 Kidz.

APPEAL LAUNCH: Marie Groody (left) and Aimee Burns of Hope 4 Kidz.

A host of collection points will be set up across Wearside, with companies and groups also invited to add to the pile of treats,

The Pennywell-based charity will then distribute the gifts to children with special needs and youngsters facing extreme difficulties as Easter arrives.

Last year the campaign supported 2,041 children as they struggled to overcome long-term illness, disability and other problems such as poverty and abuse.

Viv Watts, chief executive of Hope 4 Kidz, said: “This year we hope to support more children in refuges, hospitals, hospices and special needs units throughout the North East.

The Easter Egg Appeal is so important to the children who may not receive any cheer at Easter.

“The Easter Egg Appeal is so important to the children who may not receive any cheer at Easter.

“The Easter gifts allow children to escape their circumstances.”

The appeal relies on business and the general public to help make it a success.

Gavin Foster, the Echo’s managing editor, said: “There was a huge turn out of support for last year’s appeal and we hope to see just as much support for it this time round.

“We’ll be following the campaign as it progresses and we’re looking forward to seeing what a difference it makes to thousands of children once again.

“Such a small gesture from shoppers and workmates can have a huge effect on children who need something to pick them up when they’re feeling down.”

The last day to drop off day will be Tuesday, March 31, with the eggs to then be delivered in the following days leading up to Easter.

Last year, the call out for support led to a record-breaking campaign, with the eggs then delivered to a host of charities, community groups, help services and schools, with a visit also made to Sunderland Royal.

Supermarkets and shopping centre who set up drop off points were joined by offices and factories across Sunderland and East Durham, helping push the total higher than predicted.

A host of supermarkets and offices have already signed up to run drop off points for the campaign.

Morrisons in Seaburn and in Doxford Park, Sainsbury’s in Washington, Silksworth and Wessington Way and Virgin Money in Fawcett Street have signed up.

This year will be the sixth time they have taken part in the collection effort. Anyone who would like to add their business to the list can make contact with the charity.

For further information about Hope 4 Kidz or to have an Easter delivery for a business or organisation set up can contact the charity direct on 534 7788, email aimee.burns@hope4kidz.org.uk or visit www.hope4kidz.org.uk.