Colin Grainger

A truly incredible effort against the odds – Newham Christmas Toy Appeal reaches target

Given the present struggles all of us face in our daily lives at this time we knew that this year’s Newham Christmas Toy Appeal would be the toughest ever.

For the last 43 years the remarkable campaign in the community has spread much needed joy to children who need it most.

And I am happy to report today that the appeal has reached its target of providing a Christmas stocking full of toys for each child referred to the appeal this year… an incredible achievement. The final toys are being delivered this afternoon (Wednesday December 23).

It has taken much hard work from everyone involved. The kindness and generosity shown has helped change the lives of some young ones who would otherwise have lost out.

It has been a massive effort and we would like to thank everyone for their donations. Almost 2,900 children will be receiving gifts – more than every before in the appeal’s history.

  • Today’s Newham Recorder front page

The fact that charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve and the Newham Recorder and Community Links have once again worked together t provide this during the COVID pandemic is truly remarkable.

Kevin Jenkins, Toy Appeal founder and co-ordinator said: “I thank everyone who contributed to the appeal from the bottom of my heart, for giving Newham’s most disadvantaged children a real Christmas.”

As the Recorder went to press we had almost done it, and their coverage today is over three pages. By 5.30pm tonight, the final toys will have been delivered.

Shortly — hopefully tomorrow – AAA will publish our roll of honour to thank everyone who helped.

Without our annual Christmas appeal thousands of children in Newham would go without. It is an appeal at the heart of all that is good in the community in East London.

  • Inside the toy warehouse

I am proud to have been a part of this campaign for all its 43 years, in a variety of roles from reporter to Editor of the paper.  Now as patron of the appeal, and a trustee of Ambition, Aspire, Achieve, it fills me with pride to see this happen again.

The paper, AAA and Links joined up again for the campaign to reach out to thousands of vulnerable children, families and adults. And the festive spirit shone brightly locally.


  • Parcels ready to go out and empty boxes

The Recorder will say their own special thank you’s to some remarkable people in paper and on their website and social media in the coming days .

Thank you all for helping the appeal reach its target. It really does your heart good to know people are willing to make a difference.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy 2021.



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This article was written on 22 Dec 2020, and is filed under Ambition Aspire Achieve, Kevin Jenkins, Newham Recorder.

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