Retailer looks for support from shoppers with annual toy appeal

Central England Co-op is again calling on Reepham to help make sure as many children as possible have a gift to open on Christmas Day as it launches its annual toy appeal.
 

Toys collected during last year’s appeal across Central England Co-op stores. Photo: Co-op

Shoppers can drop a present or stocking filler into special donation points in all of the retailer’s 263 stores across 16 counties – including the Station Road, Reepham, store – as well as at its 132 funeral homes.
 
The Christmas Toy Appeal donation points will be in stores from Wednesday 3 November to Friday 3 December.
 
Items that can be donated have to be new, unwrapped and can include puzzles, games, soft toys, outdoor toys, books, dolls/figures and art materials.
 
Gifts will be collected and distributed to families who might not be otherwise able to afford to put presents under the tree, as well as to children who deserve a Christmas treat after enduring tough times through illness over the past 12 months.
 
The toys will be distributed through local charities, hospices, community groups and food banks. With 12,000 donated last year it is hoped to surpass that number in 2021 as so many families face such a tough festive period in these uncertain times.
 
Debbie Robinson, Central England Co-op chief executive, said: “Our Christmas Toy Appeal is something I am particularly passionate about and hearing about the happiness that our previous appeals have been able to provide to so many children has been truly heart-warming.
 
“We know through our work with our food bank partners and with FareShare Midlands that this year has been another challenging one for so many in our communities with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and rising living costs.
 
“That is why we are so determined to push ahead with our third Christmas Toy Appeal, which we hope to make sure that as many children as possible across the country wake up on Christmas morning with a present waiting for them to help bring the festive season to life.”
 
The major organisations being supported include Family Action, Birmingham Salvation Army, the Active Wellbeing Society and Rainbows Hospice.
 
This year there will also be four special events across the country during the appeal with a Co-op Christmas lorry stopping off to take on donations from locals with some festive fun and food on offer as well.
 
Reepham’s Station Road store will host the lorry between 10 am and 3 pm on Friday 26 November for locals to enjoy some festive treats while donating a toy to the appeal.
 

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