Colin Grainger

Sleighed by your kindness! Appeal shows the true spirit of Christmas

Sleighed by your kindness! The spirit of Christmas is alive and well in Newham as the appeal at the heart of our community reached its target last night.

The Kevin Jenkins OBE Newham Christmas Toy Appeal proved a great campaign in memory of one of the borough’s most remarkable men. Reaching this year’s target has been truly remarkable.

Appeal Organiser Paula Blake said: “We want to thank everyone who has donated and who has volunteered to make this possible. We also thank everyone for making a difference enabling each child referred to the appeal this year to wake up on Christmas Morning to a stocking of gifts and a real Christmas Day in this the most difficult of all years.”

The toy appeal is run by charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve (AAA) in conjunction with the Recorder and supported by Community Links, and will now bring joy to those children and their families who would otherwise have gone without this Yuletide.

We launched it back in November with the help of Ricky Grove and Quincy Comedian, seen below.

AAA Chief Executive Jonny Boux said: “We also want to thank our corporate donors and those who have donated cash or gifts via our online giving and gift sites or sent in donations or dropped gifts off to AAA – and all the volunteers who have ensured that the gifts donated have been checked, sorted and distributed to the children.”

This appeal was renamed this year in memory of AAA’s founder Kevin Jenkins, who passed away earlier this year. AAA trustee, appeal patron and former Recorder Editor Colin Grainger said: “This year’s appeal has been a fitting tribute to Kevin (pictured with the appeal logo) and his family.”

Last week, Mr Boux made a trip upto Waterloo to receive a cheque for £1,000 from corporate supporter Linkcity (seen above).

Eastlea School, Canning Town, staff pupils and parents donated a food hamper and toys for the appeal. Teachers Helena Loizou and colleague Cyrus Hyman presented the gifts, pictured above.

Then the Rev Cornelious Henry presented gifts from all those at St Saviour’s Church in Forest Gate. Both the school and church are regular givers over many years. And Mrs Mary McBride made the trip to the Terence Brown Arc in the Park to hand over toys (see below).


AAA’s Toy Appeal warehouse is kindly donated each year by John Murphy Managing Director Quatrro Plant Hire. of Quatro Plant Hire in Canning Road, Stratford. Volunteers helped out in the busiest of periods. Their support is truly appreciated and really does make such a huge difference for our area’s most disadvantaged children.

At the toy warehouse this week were volunteers from construction company MACE who have helped AAA with many projects over many years.

These were supported by teams from LEGO and Axis Bank and those from the management team at Gallions Reach Shopping Park. Then came the turn of another team from LEGO and those from Janus Henderson.


Next week we will thank those whose gifts came in after I wrote this piece and also publish our traditional roll of honour. Thank you all.



Pictures: Ambition, Aspire, Achieve, Lucy Jenkins, Paula Blake, Jonny Boux, Colin Grainger

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