The Southampton community are invited to join local businesses, charities, and community organisations to donate toys to help spread festive cheer for the city’s vulnerable children and young people this Christmas
For the 34th year running Southampton City Council has launched its annual Christmas toy appeal. The appeal calls on kind-hearted members of the community, businesses, and charities to donate toys for children of all ages from 0-18 who are supported by Southampton children’s services. This year, with more families struggling amidst the cost-of-living crisis, the toy appeal will be extending its support to children and families supported by other council services.
The appeal is once again supported by Westquay, where a present drop-off point at its customer service desk will be open for members of the public who are able to donate new toys from now until Sunday 18 December.
Laura Read, General Manager at Westquay adds:
“We’re proud to support the Southampton Toy Appeal once again this Christmas and hope that with the generosity of our local community and customers we can help ensure that vulnerable children and young people in Southampton receive a gift this festive season.”
Despite the challenging financial circumstances, the country is facing, over 70 local businesses have pledged their support this year. This includes continued supporters Southampton Football Club who will be donating £10,000 worth of presents for the third year running. Hampshire Constabulary, Asda, local Co-ops, Microlink and UPS will also be supporting again, as well as local volunteers including Alexandra Pacey with her social media campaign.
New organisations have also come on board to pledge their support including MAST Mayflower Studios and Marlands shopping centre. The presents will be collected, sorted, and wrapped by a team of over 800 volunteers from Southampton City Council and partner organisations throughout December with gifts distributed to children and families in time to open on Christmas morning.
Councillor Darren Paffey, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Children and Learning said:
“The past few years have been challenging for everyone, but we’ve seen how amazingly kind and generous Southampton people are when it comes to this annual toy appeal. Over the years, we have helped so many children to know they’re loved and cared for, especially at this festive time of year.
“This year we face different challenges, but it’s wonderful to have so many businesses and organisations committed to supporting the city’s most vulnerable children again.
“If you are in a position to donate a present, then please do visit Westquay to select a gift tag and buy a special gift for a child or drop off a present at one of our other collection points. Every present counts and really will help to make Christmas special for lots of Southampton children.”
This year there is an increased need for presents for older children aged 12-18 so a wish list has been created. We would be especially grateful to receive:
- £10 vouchers for Westquay
- Man Bags
- Touch screen gloves
- Hair dryers
- Ruck sacks
- Hats and gloves
- Lava Lamps
- Sports equipment (Football, Basketball, Goalie Gloves)
- Wireless Speakers
- Boxing gloves
- Make up
Toy appeal present drop off points:
- Westquay Customer Service Desk on Level three - any day (9am-5pm)
- Civic Centre or One Guildhall Square reception desk: Mon-Fri (9.30am-5pm)
- Libraries: Central, Shirley, Lordshill, Thornhill, Bitterne (10am-4pm)
- Tudor House: Mon-Thurs (10am-3pm) and Sat-Sun (10am-5pm)
- Southampton City Art Gallery: Mon-Fri (10am-3pm) and Sat (10am-5pm)
- Sea City Museum: Any day (10am-5pm)
- Marlands Customer Service Desk on Ground Floor – any day (9am-5pm)
- The MAST - Any day (10am-5pm)
Image: Left to right: Councillor Darren Paffey, Cabinet Member for Children and Learning at Southampton City Council, and Gina Windsor, Marketing Manager at Westquay