Help make Christmas extra special by donating a gift to our toy appeal

Youngsters meet a Transformer at the Hope4kidz Christmas party.
Youngsters meet a Transformer at the Hope4kidz Christmas party.

The launch of the Shields Gazette Toy Appeal has got off to a great start with gifts already flooding in.

The appeal is run in partnership with North East charity Hope4Kidz, which each year hosts a big Christmas party for disadvantaged and special needs youngsters across the region at Illusions nightclub in Sunderland.

To help make the free event on Sunday, December 3, extra special we are appealing for selection boxes, which Santa will give to the children before they head home .

Last year more than 400 children attended and had a whale of time meeting The Super Heroes, balloon artist, playing games and dancing as well as meeting the big man himself, Santa.

The party is an opportunity for children, many of whom are suffering from long term illnesses, disability, abuse and poverty, to feel special and forget their problems.

Viv Wats, of Hope4Kidz, said: “Santa’s Christmas party is one of the most popular events of the year because it gives the children something to look forward to and a chance to escape their circumstances.

“It is fantastic to see the children and their families having a great time.

“Last year more than 400 children attended and we look forward to seeing as many again this year.

“I would also like to thank Illusion nightclub for once again allowing to use the club to host our big party.

“Thanks also goes to all the businesses who have agreed to act as drop off points for your donations.”

To attend the party or to be considered for a gift donation from our appeal or for more information about the charity, contact Hope4Kidz, on 0191 534 7788, email vivien.watts@hope4kidz. org.uk or log on to www. hope4kidz.org.uk.

Your gifts can be left at one of the following designated drop-off points: Morrisons, Ocean Road, Santander, in King Street, and D&H Windows, Tudor Road (NE33 5RD).

The last day for donations is Monday, December 18.

Kerry, from D&H Windows which is one of our drop off points, said: “This is the third year we have taken part in the appeal and it is great to see people come in with their gifts.

“We know what a difference they make to children on Christmas day and we love being part of this appeal.”

Every gift, no matter how small is appreciated, but we do ask that they are all new and should not be wrapped.

Gifts are needed for all ages groups – from babies to young people, mums and dads to older members of our society.

Presents are donated to the hospital, homeless shelters, women’s refuges and many other needy causes.