Colin Grainger

Aiming to make a splash for vital Christmas Campaign

I AM again raising funds for a special appeal that has been part of my life in for 46 years…a campaign that is right at the heart of life in Newham, East London.

I first helped launch the Newham Christmas Toy Appeal, with founder Kevin Jenkins all those years ago. The appeal has helped tens of thousands of children over those years and is still as relevant today as it was back then.

I know we have a cost of living crisis and I’m sure money is tight for everyone reading this . But if you can support us it would be wonderful.

Two years ago Kevin passed away and the trustees of charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve, of which I am one, decided to rename the appeal in his memory. It is now known as The Kevin Jenkins MBE Newham Christmas Toy Appeal.

I will be featuring the full launch on my website very shortly.

Over the coming two and a half months, Ambition, Aspire, Achieve (AAA) and the local paper, Newham Recorder are joining forces for the campaign to bring joy to thousands of vulnerable children, families and adults.

Many of our children are still living in poverty. But this appeal looks to strengthen communities and raise aspirations at this time, making Christmas special and futures brighter.

I am proud to be a patron of the toy appeal campaign, having been part of the appeal for the Recorder in many roles from reporter to Editor during my 40 plus years at the Recorder. I have remained part of it as a patron since I left almost 11 years ago.

Next month will also be the 46th time I have dived in to swim 50 lengths breast stroke to help raise money for the appeal, quite a tough ask given my COPD. I am also just recovering from a hernia operation. But I am determined to do it again in December, and started small steps to training last week.

AAA and the Recorder will be featuring how to donate new toys or money and take part in our campaign generally to get new toys and gifts. We need to collect 15,000 new toys – a huge challenge. The appeal officially launches on AAA’s website, Our Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and Instagram pages and in the Recorder shortly. There will also be details on my website at and on my Facebook, X and Instagram accounts.

 * Practice begins a couple of weeks ago: Picture: Colin Grainger

Ambition, Aspire, Achieve will be providing toys and much more for children and their families as part of the appeal. If you would like to give to my small effort or the wider appeal that would be great. Thank you.

Details on how you can support the campaign in general will be in the Recorder print edition each week and on their website and also on the social media links already mentioned. with direct links to giving and to an Amazon wish list.

Thanks again for your support.

  • Cover Picture of Colin and granddaughters Laura and Julie : Adam Toon

You can donate to my Just Giving Page here:

Crowdfunding to Raise funds for a vital annual Christmas appeal on JustGiving


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