The Newham Recorder has met its target of collecting 15,000 toys for underprivileged children in East London after what it called its ‘toughest year ever”.
Editor Colin Grianger said:
This was the 34th year of the appeal, and the toughest yet, given the current financial climate.
But there were some truly amazing efforts. The appeal collected an incredible 5,000 toys in its last seven days.
The first of the toys were handed out at parties staged by Community Links at the weekend, with youngsters being entertained by a variety of volunteers.
Now the rest are being delivered by our Santa squads, the teams of Links volunteers who will wrap the gifts and deliver them today and tomorrow. The joy on the faces of the children was remarkable, and we had help from all quarters…including the Royal Family!
We paid a special visit to Buckingham Palace on Monday night to collect gifts donated by members of the royal household.
Grainger said there were donations of pocket money and pensions, along with backing from Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales and MPs Lyn Brown and Stephen Timms.
There was also support from the USA when an exiled West Ham fan flew over to pay the £350 he had pledged in an online auction for a signed West Ham short from the 1980 Cup Final, donated by Eastender actor Ricky Grover who launched the appeal.
Business donated more than £4,000 to the appeal, which helped with the costs of parties, pantomime trips, and presents.
‘But this is a truly remarkable achievement and proves an incredible community spirit exists in our borough,”added Grainger.