Generous Gazette readers have helped make this year’s Gazette Toys ’n’ Tins appeal the best ever.
Donations from kind-hearted South Tynesiders were piled high in our Chapter Row office to ensure that youngsters who may have otherwise woken to nothing get a cracking Christmas.
A mountain of toys awaited staff and volunteers from our four beneficiaries – domestic violence charities Women’s Aid (part of Places for People) and Options, as well as South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s East Health Visiting Team and Henderson Road Children’s Home.
And their representatives were overwhelmed by people’s generosity.
Cheryl Wharton, from the NHS visiting team, said: “It was just overwhelming to come in and see the response the appeal has had from Gazette readers, and the general goodwill of the people of South Tyneside. When we saw what had been donated, it was amazing.
“We just want to thank those who have donated to the appeal for their overwhelming generosity.”
Kathryn McClafferty, manager of Women’s Aid, said: “Once again we have been left overwhelmed by the generosity of the public.
“I just want to say a huge thank-you on behalf of South Tyneside’s Women’s Aid.
“There will certainly be lots of happy faces on Christmas Day.”
The toys taken by the groups have now been wrapped and distributed to families, to be opened tomorrow by excited youngsters who may otherwise have gone without.
Julie Robinson, Options co-ordinator, said: “We can’t believe the response of the public – it’s just fantastic.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how much it’s appreciated.”
Bradley Chapman and Diane Bevan, from Henderson Road Children’s Home, said: “We are just over the moon that the community has got behind the appeal, and it makes us proud of how nice people in South Tyneside can be.”
This year our Toys ’n’ Tins appeal was boosted by Asda, with customers dropping off Christmas gifts at their South Shields and Boldon stores.