The appeal, which is run in partnership between the Local Buyers Club and Location Location estate agency typically collects enough toys each year for more than 4,000 of North London’s poorest children. It also collects non-perishable food for local food banks.
Jenna Fansa, of the Local Buyers Club, who launched the appeal six years ago, said: “The levels of deprivation here in Hackney and in other boroughs like Islington and Haringey is heart-breaking. Local Food Banks have seen up to a 40% increase in demand in recent months and many of them are families.
“Parents are going hungry so their children can eat, children are living in hostel accommodation, in cramped rooms and the shortage of housing is such that many Hackney locals are being housed in different boroughs miles from their community and schools.
“The problems have been exacerbated by the rollout of Universal Credit, which we hear left many families without benefit for up to a couple of months, the lack of affordable housing, the prevalence of unreliable, zero hours contracts and wages failing to keep up with the cost of living.
“Christmas time can be hugely stressful – many parents rely on free school lunches and struggle to fund the cost of feeding the children lunch during school holidays. There’s often nothing left for gifts or treats.”
Vicky Bibiris, a Partner at Location Location, added: “The sad reality is that without our appeal thousands of children wouldn’t receive a new gift. We call it a Winter Appeal because our gifts go to children of all faiths. I’d urge everyone who can, to donate and help make sure Santa visits every child.”
The toys are distributed to children in most need in North London via a network of social workers, schools, children’s centres, hostels, refuges, the Ivy Street Family Centre and the migrant centre. The food is distributed by Hackney, Haringey and Islington Food Banks.
You can donate in person at Location Location estate agency (new toys only please and no clothes) at 18 Stoke Newington Church St or buy online via the Wishlist www.toyappealwishlist.com
To find out more visit www.wintertoyappeal.com
The sad reality is that without our appeal thousands of children wouldn’t receive a new gift
Posted 11th November 2019