Toy appeal: How you can help children in South Tyneside smile this Christmas

Last year's toy appeal at South Tyneside Childrens A and E Department.'From left staff nurse Sandra Bryant, Toy Appeal's Shannon Crowder and staff nurses Denise Sweeney and Jenny Hutchinson
Last year's toy appeal at South Tyneside Childrens A and E Department.'From left staff nurse Sandra Bryant, Toy Appeal's Shannon Crowder and staff nurses Denise Sweeney and Jenny Hutchinson

Today sees the launch of the Gazette’s annual Christmas Toy Appeal – and once again we are asking you to dig deep and buy one extra gift while you are out shopping to help bring a smile to a child’s face.

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 today as it has ever been.

Shields Gazette Toy Appeal 2018 with Morrisons Wendy Kassim and Hope 4 Kidz Shannon Crowder (R)

Shields Gazette Toy Appeal 2018 with Morrisons Wendy Kassim and Hope 4 Kidz Shannon Crowder (R)

The Gazette has teamed up for the fourth year with Hope 4 Kidz, the North East-based charity which helps disabled and disadvantaged young people across the region, to give Santa a little helping hand.

All the gifts donated are given to local charities and organisations who help people in need in our community.

Last year we again had an amazing response to our appeal and your generosity is always humbling.

Gavin Foster, Managing Editor of 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.”

Hope 4 Kidz will also be hosting its annual Santa’s Christmas party at Illusion nightclub, in Sunderland, on Sunday, December 9, and is appealing for selection boxes to give the young guests.

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.

Viv Watts, of Hope 4 Kidz, said: “We love this time of year and we are so grateful to everyone who helps to make it so special. Last year the response was amazing. Families, desperately struggling to make ends meet, really appreciate the gifts as do the many charities, which thanks to you, we can support.”

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 age groups – from babies to mums, dads and older members of our society.

Your gifts can be left at one of our designated drop-off points: Morrisons, Ocean Road, and Cafe Mio, on Sunderland Road (The Nook). The last day for donations is Monday, December 17.

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

Any charity or organisation who would like to be considered for a donation of gifts, contact Hope 4 Kidz on 0191 5142497.