Westquay Shopping Centre becomes the first collection point
The Southampton Toy Appeal was officially launched at Westquay Shopping Centre on Friday 17 November by Councillor Alex Winning, Cabinet Member for Children and Learning and Laura Read, General Manager of Westquay.
Communities, community organisations, local businesses and charities are invited to donate new toys and gifts to the Southampton Toy Appeal and help spread festive cheer to our vulnerable children and young people this Christmas.
The donations of new toys and gifts will be distributed to children and young people aged 0-18 years who are supported by Southampton’s Children’s Services, as well as a number of families experiencing severe financial difficulties.
A number of toy and gift drop-off points are available in the city including Westquay Shopping Centre. Here is a list of available drop-off points:
- Westquay level three, next to Auntie Anne’s Pretzels - Any day (9am-8pm)
- Civic Centre or One Guildhall Square reception desk - Monday-Friday (9.30am-5pm)
- Libraries: Central, Shirley, Lordshill, Thornhill, Bitterne and Portswood - Monday-Saturday (10am-4pm)
- Tudor House - Monday-Thursday (10am-3pm) and Saturday-Sunday (10am-5pm)
- Southampton City Art Gallery - Monday-Friday (10am-3pm) and Saturday (10am-5pm)
- Sea City Museum - Any day (10am-5pm)
- Marlands Customer Service Desk on the ground floor - Any day (9am-5pm)
- The MAST - Any day (10am-5pm)
- St Patricks Catholic Primary School, Woolston - Monday-Friday (9am–3pm)
All drop-off points will be open until 4pm on Sunday 17 December.
On behalf of the children and young people that receive the new toys and gifts, we are grateful for every donation. However, we have found that there is an increased need for gifts for young people, especially males aged 12-18, so a wish list has been created. We would be very grateful for any of the following items:
- Man bags
- Touch screen gloves
- Hair dryers
- Ruck sacks
- Hats and gloves
- Lava Lamps
- Sports equipment (football, basketball, goalie gloves)
- Wireless speakers
- Boxing gloves
Laura Read, General Manager at Westquay adds:
“We’re proud to support the Southampton Toy Appeal once again this Christmas. We hope that our local community and customers can help ensure that vulnerable children and young people in Southampton receive a gift this festive season. No child or young person should wake up on Christmas morning feeling alone or forgotten.”
Despite challenging financial circumstances, over 70 local businesses have pledged their support this year including:
- Southampton Football Club
- Hampshire Constabulary
- Local Co-ops
- MAST Mayflower Studios
- Marlands Shopping Centre
- Local volunteers including Alexandra Pacey with her social media campaign
The presents will be collected, sorted, and distributed by a team of over 300 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 Alex Winning, Cabinet Member for Children and Learning said:
“Christmas is an important time of year where people come together to share the festive season but for some children, young people and their families, this can be a difficult time and knowing that someone is thinking of them, that they aren’t forgotten, really makes a difference. Buying an extra gift and popping it into one of the drop-off points around the city can make a child or young person’s day special.
“Our city has a huge heart. Our people are kind, our communities welcoming, our businesses and charities generous; it's why when the annual Christmas toy appeal is launched, we come together to donate new toys and gifts to children and young people in need. No child or young person should be forgotten.”