Toys flooding in for our Christmas appeal - there is still time to give

(left) Viv Watts, Chief Executive of Hope for Kids, is presented with toys by Sainsbury's Silksworth Lane staff (left to right) Helen Williamson, Helen Brown and Rob Fraser. Picture by FRANK REID

(left) Viv Watts, Chief Executive of Hope for Kids, is presented with toys by Sainsbury's Silksworth Lane staff (left to right) Helen Williamson, Helen Brown and Rob Fraser. Picture by FRANK REID

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You have already been so generous in supporting our drive to help make Christmas special for some of the most disadvantaged and special needs children in our area.

The Echo launched its annual toy appeal on Friday, November 11, in partnership with Wearside charity Hope 4 KIdz and shoppers at Tesco in The Bridges answered our plea by filling one of the first trollies with gifts.

The donated presents have been passed on to women’s refuges, who were delighted that some of the children in their care will now have something to look forward to on Christmas Day. Many of the mums and the children, who will be spending Christmas at the refuges, have fled their homes with nothing more than the clothes they are wearing in their bid to escape abusive and violent partners.

Your gifts will help bring a little hope to those who will be finding the festive season a very difficult time.

Last year, thanks to your generosity, more than 3,500 children woke up to a special gift and we hope that you will again help us to make many more children feel that they have not been forgotten.

Gifts last year were delivered to hospitals, women’s refuges and special needs units around Wearside in time for the big day.

We are appealing for gifts suitable not just for young children but also young adults, who are often forgotten, as well as mums and dads. Donations, such as toys, clothing, smellies and chocolates are all welcome and must be new. Donations can be left at one of our many designated collection points.

Viv Watts, of Hope 4 Kidz, said: “We really hope people will again respond generously to the appeal as each year request for help from refuges and children’s organisations grow. People’s generosity never ceases to amaze us and we never take this for granted as we know how difficult times are for families.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so at one of our designated collections points: Morrisons, Seaburn, Morrisons, Doxford Park, Hays Travel, Santander, Virgin Money Fawcett Street, Virgin Money The Bridges, TescoThe Bridges, Wilkinsons, Sainsbury Silksworth and Hylton Retail Park and Hope 4 Kidz office, Pennywell, The last day for donations will be Saturday, December 19.

Anyone who would like to know more or who would like to be considered for donations, contact Viv or Amy at Hope 4 Kidz on 0191 5347788.