Christmas comes early as toy appeal receives record donations

Kind-hearted people in Southampton have been praised for their generosity after a record number of toys were donated to our city-wide toy appeal

Christmas 2019 toy appeal

An astonishing 10,600 toys have been donated to Southampton City Council’s Festive Toy Appeal since it launched on 14 November. Just over five weeks later, the appeal today (Friday 20 December) draws to a close and the toys will now be distributed to children aged up to 18 who are being supported by Southampton City Council’s children’s services.

In the true spirit of the season businesses, charities and community organisations came together to support the appeal and add to substantial haul of toys donated by members of the public at Westquay and other locations in the city and help to ensure that young people have a special gift to open this festive season – whatever their circumstances.

This year’s toy appeal was given a boost when it was backed by Saints Star James Ward-Prowse and captured the public’s imagination when it was featured on prime-time television. This year’s total of 10,600 gifts donated is significantly higher than last year’s total of 7,000.

Councillor Darren Paffey, Cabinet Member for Aspiration, Children and Lifelong Learning, said:

"I’d like to say a huge thank you to people across Southampton who have truly outdone themselves this year with their generosity, kindness and compassion for children in the city. Special mention must also go to our fantastic partner organisations who have done so much to encourage donations and help make it a Christmas to remember for children in the city – we couldn’t have done it without you!"

Andy Collyer, General Manager of Westquay, said:

"It was a privilege to work with Southampton City Council once again on this amazing initiative. We are delighted with the fantastic response we have received from our customers who have donated a record number of toys at Westquay. We hope these gifts brighten up the Christmas of many children in Southampton who might have otherwise gone without."