How you can make Christmas special for youngsters in South Tyneside with our toy appeal

Today sees the launch of the Gazette’s 2019 Christmas Toy Appeal.

Friday, 15th November 2019, 11:36 am
Updated Friday, 6th December 2019, 2:33 pm
Hope4Kidz Shannon Crowder and Aimee Burns (right) launch the Christmas Toy Appeal

For so many of our families the run-up to the big day is one of worry and the need to help is as great as it has ever been.

So as the festive season begins we are once again teaming up with charity Hope 4 Kidz and asking readers to dig deep and buy one extra gift while you are out shopping.

That is the present that will help bring a smile to a child’s face on Christmas Day.

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Hope4Kidz Shannon Crowder and Aimee Burns (right) launch the Christmas Toy Appeal

This is the sixth year the Gazette has teamed up with Hope 4 Kidz – which helps disabled and disadvantaged young people across the region.

Last year, you responded by donating more than 4,000 gifts – putting a smile on the faces of youngsters who might otherwise wake up to nothing on Christmas morning.

Gavin Foster, Head of Print and Curation at the Shields Gazette, said: “Every year our readers have astounded us with their generosity and we hope that this year will be no exception.

“We appreciate how difficult times are for many families and thank you all for the wonderful way in which you respond to our appeal.”

Hope4Kidz Shannon Crowder and Aimee Burns (right) launch the Christmas Toy Appeal

Since 2007 Hope 4 kidz has supported over 565, 000 children with free family events and Christmas Parties.

Viv Watts, chief executive of Hope 4 Kidz, said the Christmas Toy Appeal supports around 60 organisations for children in extreme circumstances each year.

It runs a free Christmas party in Illusions Sunderland for children with special needs, disability and extreme circumstances.

Families from around the North East can apply to attend by either emailing [email protected] or calling the office 0191 5142497.

Viv said: “Most of the children receiving the gifts at Christmas are often in hospital, refuge or in such circumstances that the given gift may be the only gift they receive at Christmas.

“With the help of the general public and businesses alike we can make many children smile around the North East at Christmas, as this can be a very difficult time for some families.”

She added: “Last year we had over £25,500 worth of gifts. It would be amazing to support even more children this year.

“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.”

Gifts can be dropped off at Morrisons, South Shields, and Cafe Mio, 299 Sunderland Road, South Shields.

The last day for donations is Monday, December 16