Colin Grainger

Take the plunge for charity Christmas Toy Appeal

swim 4


That was tough…I must be getting older!

I dived in (well climbed actually) and took part in my 38th sponsored swim for the Community Links and Newham Recorder Christmas Toy appeal.

I took the plunge at Central Park Leisure Centre in Romford to swim 50 lengths for the campaign.

Many years ago when we started family and friends and former staff joined me by swimming for cash for toys as well.

But the last ten years have been a singular effort.

The first 10 to 15 lengths were fine, being completed in about 20-30 minutes, but then it started to get tougher. My next target was to reach 25 lengths and I managed that, but then a bit of cramp made life a little harder. Then from length 26 to 40 was a struggle, as the feeling in my legs and arms began to go.

It was time for a number of longer rests at the end of each length.

Finally after just under two hours the task was complete.

But it was well worth it, and if anyone wants advice on staging their own sponsored event for the appeal, contact Kevin Jenkins at Community Links on (020) 7473 2270.

Over the last 37 years, Links have estimated I have raised around £11,700 for the appeal. I’m hoping to top 12 as a result of this latest effort.

Please do all you can for this special campaign. You can stage your own event, it does not have to be a swim. Choose anything you like and Community Links can give you help with it if you need it.

It’s my honour to be an ambassador for Community Links as well as a recipient of their Freedom award. The group does such important work all year round and we have launched as Friends group that you can get involved in. But for the next few weeks,  the Christmas Toy Appeal takes centre stage,

If you want to add to sponsorship for the appeal, so that money can be turned into toys, please drop off any donations to Community Links’ Canning Town office or the Recorder’s Ilford office. Make any cheques payable to Community Links please.

Or you can email for more details. Those of you reading this on my website or on Facebook or via Twitter, can message me of you want any details. Thank you.




Talented young people are helping to raise money for the Christmas Toy Appeal that is at the heart of life in Newham.

Deborah Day Theatre School Trust’s Christmas Delight is taking place at the Brampton Manor Academy Theatre, in  Roman Road, East Ham, with all proceeds going to the Community Links and Newham Recorder Christmas Toy Appeal.

The appeal needs to provide around 15,000 new toys for youngsters in Newham in time for Christmas Day

More than 150 youngsters are taking part in the show on Sunday November 30 at 2.30pm.

The show will be a spectacular show of seasonal dance and song.

All tickets are £10.

Contact Deborah Day on (020) 8502 6866 or or Kevin Jenkins, co-founder of Community Links on (020) 7473 9685.

All finished in  Links shirt


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This article was written on 23 Nov 2014, and is filed under Christmas Toy Appeal, Community Links, community spirit, Newham, Newham Recorder, Toy Appeal.

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