Colin Grainger

Thank you for the gift of true community spirit – and the joy you gave

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THE start of a new year brings new hope, but a tradition that ended the old year vividly illustrates that the precious commodity of community spirit is alive and well.

The Community Links and Newham Recorder annual toy appeal for needy youngsters illustrated how people do really care about their community.

And here in East London we also have another tradition that comes with giving – and that is the one of saying thank you. 

So as someone who has been part of the campaign for 37 years I am more than happy to help publicise the Community Links Roll of Honour.

The amazing Olympic Stadium contractors in Stratford and the LLDC collection – the largest collection of gifts ever donated in the history of the Toy Appeal  – tops that list of thanks.  It is a truly wonderful and remarkable achievement, said Links’  Co-Founder / Senior Advisor Kevin Jenkins.

He added: “It was  a truly stunning contribution and the kindness and generosity of everyone who contributed is truly appreciated, their help in this most challenging of all years have enabled the appeal to reach its target. I would like to thank everyone, especially in the challenging times we all face who contributed towards the appeal this year – a truly wonderful community response. It is truly appreciated and made a real difference for those who need it the most”.

Donations came big and small from a variety of people and organisations, to help reach the target of 13,000 gifts.

Links would  like to thank Newham scouts who staged a collection at their annual carol service,one of the local highlights.

But the help came from East Enders and supporters not only in Newham but from who have moved elsewhere in east, west, north and south London , in Essex and beyond.

Remarkably again, we say thanks to the Royal Household staff at Buckingham Palace who collected gifts for the appeal and to Newham Firefighters who supported the campaign collect gifts from a variety of sources for the Appeal.

Newham Challenge staged a collection of toys and cash their 2013 get together at Durning Hall and St Mary’s Church Broomfield and All Saints Writtle held special toy services.

Links want to thank everyone, many of who gave anonymously. To all Links staff and volunteers and to all the drop off points al over the borough, thank you.

The roll of honour continues. Please forgive us if you have been left off. Many donations arrived in such a hurly burly of effort we are sure we may have missed someone.

If so, please let Kevin or me know, and we would love to add your name to the list, and update this article.

Thank you to Forest Gate Women’s Institute who donated a selection of  gifts. Newham Partnership working based at the Boleyn, who offer support services to Newham’s schools collected gifts.

The annual Links Christmas meal, raffles and and Quiz Night, raffle and sponsored swim added much needed funds.

In the Annual Bikers Toy Run – over 50 bikers brought nearly 300 gifts and donated a further £690 in cash to the Appeal. Organiser John Pryke said: “The response has been terrific this year and everyone made an extra effort to help ensure that no child referred to the Appeal this year woke up to an empty Christmas stocking”.

A brilliant run and a truly wonderful response from wonderful generous people, we thank them so much for all their efforts.

The roll of honour continues. Thank you to:

St Georges Church, East Ham – toy service and collection; Lister, School Plaistow, – collection of £90; Turner and Townsend Project Management – donation, Christmas Party Raffle; Ladbrokes Charitable Trust – donation; The Ward and Partners Fund – donation ; Land Securities – donation; Cathedral – donation for toys and gifts; Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP – toy collection four boxes of gifts and Thames Water – donation.

Thanks to Business in the Community N1 – two boxes of toys; Chevron W1 – over 300 toys; TPG Capital SW1 – instead of bringing each other gif ts they gave to the toy appeal; John Sisk Construction – E16 site – donation; Brentwood United Reform Church – over 200 toys and donation;  Zurich Insurance – toys and gifts; South Woodham Ferrers Methodist Church – donation Clifford Chance – Canary Wharf – gifts and toys; Paddy Power – gifts; The Fence Club donation and  plus toys;  Variety Club of Great Britain – gifts and toys; Bolt and Heeks of Woodford – donation;  St Nicholas Church – Kelvedon Hatch – Toy service; The Society of London Ragamuffins – donation ; Arriva – donation; Land Securities – donation.

We move on to thank Clockhouse Primary School, Collier Row Romford – toy s and gifts ; School South Woodford – toy collection; Aramark – over 300 gifts; Chalkwell Primary School, Leigh on Sea – 200 gifts; St Saviours Church, Forest Gate– toy service;  Tavern Snacks – crisps for parties; Lynn Brown MP – donation; Mrs Bennet – hand knitted toys; Scrutton Estates E16 – donation; Ibis and Novotel Docklands  donation; PAM Investments – gifts and cash donation; Oval Insurance – 50 gifts and donation of cash; Steve Timms MP- donation.

Valero Energy Ltd weighed in with 75 gifts and Fidelity – 15 boxes of gifts; Man Charitable Trust – over 100 gifts; Bank of England– load of toys; Liaa Ltd – 60 gifts;  Henderson Global Investments – over 300 gifts.

All the individuals who have dropped off gifts at the drop-off points or sent in financial donations.

The Fence Club donated over 150 new toys for all ; Newham Police Cadets sang carols for the Appeal outside Stratford station on four days; Eastcote  School organised  a massive toy collection for the appeal ; The Variety Club of Great Britain have donated toys, books and games.

Pam Global Investments of EC3, over 250 gifts; Clifford Chance of Canary Wharf, bags of toys; Reed Smith of Broadgate. EC2 – . over 150 toys, books and games; St James and St JohnsChurch – Havering-atte-Bower – toy service and over 150 toys; . Newham Scouts raised £151.00 through collection at their annual carol service at SavaCentre  Beckton and St Saviours Church, McDonald Road, Forest Gate – toy service – over 150 toys; Nuno Gato Science 4 You Toys E16 – gifts and presents and St Stephens School, Upton Park – hamper appeal – £118.

Winsor School, Beckton – donation and collection; Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP – toy collection; Air Pumping, High Street South, East Ham – donation; Lee Tunnel Project- donation; ; Chevron W1- 300 toys; East London Business Alliance – toys; Havebike Ec1 – toys and donation; John Sisk Construction – donation; Telford Homes – donation for Christmas Once in a Lifetime parties; Brentwood United Reform Church – toys and donation; Royal Docks Trust – donation; Zurich Insurance- donation.

Writtle United Reform Church – donation; Lakehouse Construction Romford – donation;  IOD Skips- donation; Vines- donation; Bibliophile- Books; St Augustine Church Romford – donation; London Fire Brigade, East Ham – donation;  London City Airport, Silvertown – donation;  Reed Smith LLP Broadgate – gifts; Oakdale School Woodford- toy collection; BNP Paribas – toy collection and donation;

Tate & Lyle Silvertown   gifts and donations; Capital WC”H 8AD – gifts and cash donation; Chalkwell Primary School , Leigh on Sea – 200 gifts; St Saviours Church, Forest Gate  – toy service;  Eastcourt School , Barking – collection over 200 gifts;  Tavern Snacks – donation; O’Shea Construction – donation; Table sale at Newham Dockside – donation ; Clancy Group – donation; Scrutton Estates E16 – donation.

Big thanks also to the: Aston Mansfield Charitable Trust – gifts and donation; Atkins Consultants NW1 – donation; PAM Investments – gifts and cash donation; Vanguard Asset Management EC4 – 400 presents; Oval Insurance – 50 gifts and donation of cash;  Hawkins Brown Architects – donations;  Valero Energy Ltd – 75 gifts; Sir Robert McAlpine – Bloomsbury project – over 100 gifts;  Fidelity – 15 boxes of gifts; Morgan Stanley – Sales and Trading – 300 gifts; Man Charitable Trust – over 100 gifts; Gain Capital – 100 toys; Bank of England – load of toys

And to Silver Pop – thank you for 30 gifts; Liaa Ltd – 60 gifts Freemantle Media – three large boxes of gifts; Henderson Global Investments – over 300 gifts and Foxboro Accountants and Business Alliance – over 50 gifts.

Finally Links thank a  special supporter. Magnificent support again this year – our longest term supporter – help with gifts, parties and pantomimes – Glyn Hopkin Ltd.

Pictured: Below Gifts arrive at Links HQ: Cover pic: Links volunteers do their bit

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This article was written on 07 Jan 2014, and is filed under Charity/Third sector, Christmas Toy Appeal, community, Community Links, community spirit, East London, Olympics & Paralympics.

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