Colin Grainger

Making a splash to raise funds for Toy Appeal

I’M RAISING funds for a special appeal that has been part of my life in for 45 years…a campaign that is right at the heart of life in Newham.

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

Since I wrote about the difficult times communities faced 12 months ago, the challenges facing all of us has risen to new levels. We have a cost of living crisis and I’m sure money is tight for everyone reading this please.

Last year, Kevin, who started the appeal all those years ago, sadly 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.

Over the coming two months, the Newham Recorder, and charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve are joining forces for the campaign to bring joy to thousands of vulnerable children, families and adults.

Christmas can be a time of stress and isolation as 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 as reporter, news editor, sub-editor, assistant editor, deputy editor, associate editor and then as Editor during my 40 plus years at the Recorder. I have remained part of it as a patron since I left almost 10 years ago.

Next month will also be the 45th 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. But I am determined to do it again in December.

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 in the Newham Recorder on November 9.

  • Training last week

The charity 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. Every pound given is immediately spent on gifts. Details on how you can support the campaign in general will be in the Recorder every week and on their website from early November and also on my website and also on AAA’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Thanks again for your support. You can give at:

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